Colts Must Play Road Game Four Days After Victory over Detroit
INDIANAPOLIS – The reality is there isn't enough time.
So Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy said when it comes to an NFL player getting adequate rest and recovery on a four-day week, it won't happen.
Which is why the Colts' approach this week is fairly simple:
Do the best they can.
And then go play.
"It probably takes five or six days physically to really recover," Dungy said Monday, a day after the Colts beat Detroit and three days before they will visit the Jacksonville Jaguars at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium Thursday at 8:15 p.m.
"Mentally, you have to fight through that and get through it. That part isn't that much of a problem because we always say, 'Hey, you come in on Wednesday ready to go and forget about the last game,' but physically, the Thursday night games you don't have as much traction and energy as you would on a Sunday when you have the extra three days."
While coaches began preparations for Jacksonville Monday, players were off and scheduled to return Tuesday. The Colts will practice Tuesday, then have a short practice Wednesday before traveling to Jacksonville.
This is the third time in five seasons the Colts have played a Thursday game. They beat the Detroit Lions, 41-9, in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day in 2004 and they beat the Atlanta Falcons, 31-13, on Thanksgiving Day last season.
"We're going to use the same schedule we used last Thanksgiving going to Atlanta, and hopefully, it will work as well," Dungy said.
Dungy said how to adequately prepare for a Thursday game is a topic among players in such weeks.
"Our veteran guys talk to our rookies in the locker room about resting up," Dungy said. "They say, 'Hey, you'll feel a little exuberance and you'll want to go out and everything, but you have to force yourself to get that extra rest.' Fortunately, it's a night game and sometimes on the road, that's a little easier. We'll fly down there and they'll get a good rest in the hotel and have good rest time on Thursday morning as well.
"It's the same for both teams, and we'll be fine. We'll be ready."
HIGH PRAISE: Colts linebacker Clint Session didn't lead the team in tackles Sunday, but he did about everything else.
Session, a second-year veteran from Pittsburgh, finished the game with five tackles, three of which were for losses, and a forced fumble.
"He's progressed very, very well," Dungy said. "He had one of the best games a linebacker has had here in a while (Sunday). He had a lot of tackles, tackles for losses, and was around the football. It's just coming for him."
EARLY RE: Although the Colts did not practice Monday, they were required to issue an injury report under NFL rules because of the Thursday game.
The injury report read as follows:
Running back Joseph Addai (shoulder), safety Antoine Bethea (ankle), middle linebacker Gary Brackett (fibula), tight end Dallas Clark (hip), defensive end Dwight Freeney (not injury related-rested), linebacker Tyjuan Hagler (knee), cornerback Tim Jennings (not injury related-rested), offensive tackle Charlie Johnson (shin), linebacker Freddy Keiaho (shoulder), defensive end Robert Mathis (not injury related-rested), safety Bob Sanders (knee), center Jeff Saturday (calf), running back Chad Simpson (ankle), offensive tackle Tony Ugoh (knee) and kicker Adam Vinatieri (not injury-rested).
"We had the normal bumps and bruises (against the Lions)," Dungy said. "There's nobody that's any different than last week. We just don't have as much time to recover. . . .
"I think we'll be ready to go."
Veteran end Josh Thomas started alongside second-year veteran Antonio Johnson at tackle against the Lions, but Dungy said Foster and Dawson – the starters at tackle – "should be back and ready to go" Thursday.
Dungy also said Sanders likely will play Sunday.
UPON REVIEW: Dungy said he spoke with NFL Vice President of Officiating Mike Pereira regarding a ruling involving cornerback Keiwan Ratliff in the first half Sunday.
On the play, officials ruled a Detroit punt bounced off Ratliff, after which the Lions recovered. Dungy during the game challenged the ruling, believing the ball had not hit Ratliff. After review, the officials upheld the ruling on the field and the Lions retained possession.
"He (Pereira) said from the views they had you couldn't tell who the ball hit, so he couldn't overturn it," Dungy said. "We have to go with that. I haven't seen the TV copy myself."