Colts Safety Looking Forward to Getting Back on the Field
INDIANAPOLIS – Bob Sanders would love to tell everyone he is healthy. He would love to proclaim himself "ready to go." And more than anything, he would love to be playing football.
And while the Colts safety is not exactly sure when he will be able to do those three things, he does know he is close.
Sanders, the NFL's 2007 Defensive Player-of-the-Year, spoke with reporters Wednesday and said he did not want to get too much into the details of his rehab or when he planned to make his much-anticipated return to the field. But he did want to say he is progressing well and felt "good."
"I just wanted to let everyone know I'm doing fine, my spirits are up," he said. "I'm excited about the year, it's starting up, and it's time to play football.
"I'm just going to take it a day at a time, try and get better and get excited for the time when I am out there," he said.
After sitting out training camp and the preseason while continuing to rehabilitate his injured right knee, Sanders was activated from the team's Physically Unable to Perform List last Saturday and placed on the active 53-man roster. The moved mark an important step towards Sanders' return – but not the final one.
"I'm encouraged about my rehab and everything, and we'll see what happens over the next few weeks," he said.
On Wednesday, Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell said there was no official update on the two-time All-Pro's status.
"He is doing well," Caldwell said. "We are just going to continue to work with him and increase his activity and see where that ends in the next few weeks or so and make some projections as we go along."
Caldwell said he is grateful to have a player as talented as third-year safety Melvin Bullitt in the secondary filling in as his starting safety continues his rehab.
"That's one of the great things about this team," Caldwell said. "We've had guys who have been able to step up when we have individuals who can't play for us. And not only do they step up, but they play well, and we expect them to do that across the board.
"You're going to face some injuries, face some adversity, but you just have to be well-prepared and say, 'Next Man Up.'"
Sanders echoed Caldwell's sentiments, adding Bullitt has "come right in and picked up the slack."
"Melvin has done a tremendous job of that, and that's what we do," Sanders said. "It's about the next man up. If guys are down, we plug guys in and they pick up the slack and do well, so it's encouraging."
CALDWELL NOTES AND QUOTES
• Sunday will mark the first regular-season game Caldwell has served as the team's head coach since taking over in January, but the Colts coach has not had much time for personal reflection. "Those reflections might come later down the line when I'm finished coaching in this game 20-30 years from now, if I'm anything like (Joe) Paterno," Caldwell said with a laugh. "My focus is on the team and trying to get better."
• Caldwell said his depth chart at certain positions could change from game-to-game, but rookie wide receiver Austin Collie will be the team's third wide receiver this Sunday. "That does not mean Pierre (Garcon) is not going to play a lot," Caldwell said. "He will, and he will rotate in there also."
• The Colts coach also announced the team had signed DB-Devon Hall and TE-Jason Pociask to the team's practice squad. With only one spot available on the squad's eight-man roster, the Colts released WR-Sam Giguere to make room.