INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney thought playing Sunday was worth it, even if the soreness in his right leg was still lingering Monday.
The former league sacks champion acknowledged he was not feeling 100 percent one day after making a surprise appearance in Indy’s 34-17 victory over Seattle. Freeney was in for about 20 plays despite having a strained right quadriceps that many expected to keep him off the field up to three weeks.
He expects to play again this week at Tennessee, too.
“Is it like nothing ever happened? No,” Freeney said. “Is it good enough to play with? Yes.”
Freeney attributed his rapid recovery to trainers, team doctors and the power of positive thinking, saying he never doubted he would heal quickly enough to play — as long as it didn’t make the injury worse.
Quarterback Peyton Manning called Freeney’s presence Sunday inspirational.
Freeney, however, said it’s just part of the job.
“You know it (your career) is only going to last so long, and you never know when it’s going to be over,” he said. “So you want to maximize your opportunities to be out there. This is what I love to do.”
The Colts (4-0) did have one additional injury concern Monday. Starting left tackle Charlie Johnson left Sunday’s game during the fourth quarter after hurting his left knee. Johnson said he hurt the knee in the first quarter but continued playing until the Colts built a 31-3 lead in the fourth quarter.
Johnson had an MRI on the injury Monday and also hopes to play against the Titans (0-4).
“If we had to play today, probably not,” he said. “But we have six days to go, so we’ll see. The MRI didn’t show anything structurally, so that’s a good thing. I feel OK, that’s about it.”
Johnson won the starting job over Tony Ugoh, who started at left tackle the past two seasons, during training camp. Ugoh was inactive for Sunday’s game with what coach Jim Caldwell described as bumps and bruises. Caldwell would not say who would start if Johnson could not play.
Caldwell said he thought linebacker Gary Brackett (sprained left knee) and cornerback Kelvin Hayden (left hamstring) might practice this week this week, though he couldn’t be definitive. Caldwell was uncertain whether 2007 NFL defensive player of the year Bob Sanders would practice this week. Sanders has not practiced since training camp started after having offseason knee surgery.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
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