Cornerback to Miss Rest of Season With Knee Injury, Dungy Says
INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts got good news early this week with the return of three starters from injuries.
The news Thursday wasn't nearly as welcome.
Marlin Jackson, starter in the Colts' last 23 regular-season games at cornerback, sustained a serious knee injury on Wednesday in practice, according to Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy. Late Thursday afternoon, the club announced he has been placed on injured reserve, a move that ended his season.
"He did some significant damage to his knee," Dungy said Thursday afternoon as the Colts (3-4) prepared to play the AFC East-leading New England Patriots (5-2) at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis Sunday at 8:15 p.m.
Jackson's injury came the same day that safety Bob Sanders, cornerback Kelvin Hayden and running back Joseph Addai returned to practice after missing a various number of games.
"Everyone was fired up getting Bob back, and Kelvin," Dungy said. "They both practiced, and we had a certain amount of things we wanted to see from them. Everybody was doing great and Marlin got hurt without really being touched in a no-pads situation.
"It's just one of those things you can't really avoid."
Tim Jennings, a second-round selection in the 2006 NFL Draft who started in place of Hayden the last three games, likely will start for Jackson, Dungy said.
"I'm just going to try to fill in," Jennings said. "You hate for one of your guys to go down, but we have to keep it moving, keep it rolling. We wish Marlin the best.
"That's part of the game, but when you go down in practice, it's tough to live with. You hate for it to go down in practice."
The Colts on Thursday also announced they had signed cornerback Keiwan Ratliff. Aside from Ratliff, the Colts have four cornerbacks on the roster: Hayden, Jennings, second-year veteran Dante Hughes and recently-signed second-year veteran Nick Graham.
Ratliff, originally a second-round selection in the 2004 NFL Draft by Cincinnati, was claimed by the Colts off waivers last November. He was released by the Colts in September, re-signed on October 8, the released again last week. He has returned four punts for 24 yards this season.
Jackson's injury came midway through practice Wednesday, Dungy said. The Colts were practicing without pads, and Dungy said Jackson was running, stopped and was injured without contact.
"It was one of those freak things," Dungy said. "We'll move forward. We obviously feel bad for Marlin, but we have to carry on, press forward and I think we will."
Also on Thursday, the Colts released their second injury reof the week, running back Clifton Dawson (concussion), wide receiver Roy Hall (knee), Hughes (ankle), linebacker Freddy Keiaho (knee), tight end Tom Santi (shoulder), wide receiver Reggie Wayne (knee) and Hayden (knee/hamstring) listed as not participating.
"We had a lot of guys who are just banged up, general body soreness, from a very physical Monday Night game that we tried to rest up a little bit," Dungy said. "Hopefully all of those guys, including Freddy, come back by tomorrow."
Also on Thursday, Dungy said the lineup along the offensive line of left tackle Tony Ugoh, left guard Charlie Johnson, center Jeff Saturday, right guard Mike Pollak and right tackle Ryan Diem likely will start again Sunday. Ugoh returned to the left tackle position last week, moving Johnson from tackle – where he started four games after a Week 2 injury to Ugoh – to guard.
The line has not allowed a sack in the last two games.
"I thought they did a good job," Dungy said. "Tennessee has a very good front seven. Those guys fought and held their own. We've been progressing every week and we just want to keep that going."