Hayden Could Return to Lineup against Chargers, Dungy Says
INDIANAPOLIS – Kelvin Hayden's long wait could end soon.
But whether or not the veteran cornerback can return to the lineup Sunday likely won't be known until the end of the week, Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy said Monday.
Hayden, who started 20 consecutive games from the beginning of last season through the first four games this season, has progressed in recent weeks and Dungy said he could return in time to play in the Colts' game against the San Diego Chargers Sunday.
Hayden missed four games with a knee injury and has been out with a hamstring injury the last two games.
"Kelvin's making that steady progress, and we're hoping by the end of the week he'll be in the lineup," Dungy said Monday.
Dungy said the status of safety Bob Sanders for Sunday also is unclear.
Sanders, the 2007 Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year, missed Sunday's 33-27 victory over the Houston Texans with a knee injury. He earlier this season missed five games with knee/ankle issues.
"He was kind of on his normal routine," Dungy said. "We gave him a day off last week. He practiced Thursday and did fine. He came in Friday with a lot of swelling. We need to get that calmed down and hopefully, we can find the right practice routine where he can practice just enough and be ready to go on Sundays.
"We anticipated him playing right up until Saturday."
A QUIRKY RULE: The rule is relatively obscure, and on Sunday, it cost the Colts significant field position.
But Dungy said the officials' interpretation of it was correct.
With a little less than eight minutes remaining in the second quarter Sunday, the Colts punted and a after a fair catch, the Texans had possession at their 17. Defensive tackle Darrell Reid was penalized for an illegal substitution, forcing a Colts re-punt.
A 39-yard return by Jacoby Jones on the ensuing play gave Houston 1st-and-10 at the Colts 41. Nine plays later, running back Ahman Green's 1-yard touchdown run gave Houston a 13-6 lead.
Under league rules, Reid was penalized because he had been an eligible receiver on the Colts' third-down play preceding the punt. That meant although he did not leave the game, he had to re-reas an ineligible player before the punt.
"That was really my fault," Dungy said. "That's a situation we look at all the time when we have guys on our short-yardage offense, then we have to kick a field goal. It's not a complicated rule, but it's one you kind of have to be on top of. It's never really come up on our punts before, but it was the right call and one we have to avoid. We had to re-punt and it cost us a lot of field position."
"It's a quirk in the rules. It's always been that way. It's not something we see very much going to our punt team. We practice it going to our field-goal team.
"It just doesn't come up all that much and it's one we just blew."
ETC., ETC.: Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison caught a season-high nine passes for 77 yards Sunday, also catching his fourth touchdown pass of the season. For Harrison, who has 39 receptions for 434 yards this season, it was his first touchdown reception in five games. "It's funny," Dungy said. "Every week there seems to be a new crisis – somebody calling about this person or that person. It was (defensive end) Dwight (Freeney) a couple of weeks ago, then it was Marvin. I'm just not seeing that in practice. I guess every day is a new experience. Marvin has been fine. He has been open a lot. He's had a little bit of bad luck – some balls that we've taken for granted here for 10 years that those are touchdown balls. But he's doing well. I think he'll continue to put up some numbers for us." . . . Rookie running back Chad Simpson returned his first five regular-season kickoffs for the Colts Sunday, averaging 26.0 yards with a long of 46 yards. The 46-yarder was the longest kickoff return of the season for Indianapolis, which is averaging 21.5 yards a kickoff return this season. "We had some returns we thought Chad might run a little bit better," Dungy said. "He hits it very, very hard. That's one thing he does. He's like (running back) Dominic (Rhodes) – a lot of energy, quick burst. He did a good job for us." . . . Colts quarterback Peyton Manning on Sunday passed former Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants quarterback Fran Tarkenton into seventh-place on the NFL's career completions list. Tarkenton had 3,686 completions. Manning now has 3,702. . . . Harrison moved past former Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown into ninth on the NFL's all-time touchdowns list. Harrison now has 127 career touchdowns.