Newly-Signed Forsett Will Return Punts and Kickoffs, Dungy Says
INDIANAPOLIS – On Tuesday, Justin Forsett didn't have a job.
On Sunday, he'll not only have one, he'll be playing extensively for the Colts in two comparatively high-profile roles.
Forsett, a rookie who was waived by the Seattle Seahawks this past Tuesday, signed with the Colts on Thursday. On Sunday, he will handle not only the team's punt return duties, but kickoff returns as well, Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy said.
"I just want to try to produce something for this team," Forsett said Friday as the Colts (0-1), the five-time defending AFC South champions, prepared to play the Minnesota Vikings (0-1) at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday at 1 p.m.
"I'll be out there on special teams. I'll try to be very productive out there. I always stay prepared. Last week, I was inactive for Seattle, but during the whole week, I kept catching kicks and punts. I was just staying ready. You never know when your number is going to be called.
Forsett, a seventh-round selection by the Seahawks in the 2008 NFL Draft, led Seattle in rushing during the preseason with 248 yards and a touchdown on 46 carries. He also returned nine punts for a 6.6-yard average and six kickoffs for a 23.5-yard average.
"We liked Justin, and he's going to help us," Dungy said.
Forsett on Sunday will fill the roles held by two players last week. Wide receiver Courtney Roby, who was released earlier this week, returned five kickoffs for a 20.2-yard average in a 29-13 loss to Chicago. Cornerback Keiwan Ratliff returned one punt for eight yards.
Forsett said the Colts' scheme has been relatively simple to learn.
You've just to catch it and follow your wedge," Forsett said. "It's something I've been doing for a while now. It's not really a big adjustment. I just have to catch the ball and learn the different plays we have here. They have a pretty simple scheme that works."
In other Colts news, defensive tackle LaJuan Dawson, signed Thursday as a street free agent, could play on Sunday, Dungy said.
Ramsey (6-feet-3, 300 pounds), originally a sixth-round selection in the 2006 NFL Draft by Philadelphia, played two seasons with the Eagles, playing in 15 games and recording 18 tackles – nine each in 2006 and 2007. He played collegiately at the University of Southern California.
He spent training camp and preseason with the San Francisco 49ers.
"Fortunately, he has a lot of background in this," Dungy said. "He played at USC. (Southern Cal Head Coach) Pete Carroll was with (Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Coordinator and former Dungy assistant) Monte Kiffin. It's a long story, but everything goes back to the same origin, the same playbook. He knows a lot about what we're doing and actually did pretty well (Thursday), so he's got a chance to play and help us."
Center Jeff Saturday and tight Dallas Clark likely will be game-time decisions with knee injuries, Dungy said.
Saturday, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, practiced all three days this week, while Clark did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday before participating on a limited basis Friday. Clark and Saturday are both listed as questionable on the team's injury re
"Jeff obviously has done more practicing than Dallas," Dungy said. "I'd say he has a better chance. Dallas has a couple of busloads of people who are coming, so that always makes you feel better. We'll see what happens."
Said Saturday, "A lot of it is going to have to do with how I feel after three days of practice. Nobody will know until I get there. We'll just see. . . .
"I've got to do it and go see."
The Colts' Friday injury report reads as follows:
Clark (knee, questionable), wide receiver Roy Hall (knee, out), cornerback Kelvin Hayden (hamstring, questionable), defensive tackle Daniel Muir (knee, out), guard Mike Pollak (knee, out), Saturday (knee, questionable) and tight end Jacob Tamme (ankle, out).
Hayden, after missing practice on Thursday with a hamstring injury, returned to full participation Friday.
"Kelvin told me he feels like he'll be ready to go," Dungy said.
If Clark cannot play, and with Tamme out, Dungy said the Colts will still be able to use their multiple tight-end sets with tight end Gijon Robinson and Tom Santi.
"It's not too bad if no one else gets hurt," Dungy said. "We'll have Tom Santi and Gijon and we'll be able to run our two tight end-package, then we've got our three-wide receiver package. It doesn't hurt you to start the game. We just can't afford to get anybody else hurt."