News From Terre Haute, Indiana

CNHI News Service Originals

January 5, 2007

Colts’ Sanders resting, ready to play Saturday

INDIANAPOLIS — It’s looking more and more like safety Bob Sanders will be in the starting lineup when the Indianapolis Colts face the Kansas City Chiefs in Saturday’s AFC wildcard game at the RCA Dome.

Sanders missed all but four of the Colts’ regular-season games after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in late September. Soreness and stiffness in the knee prevented the former Pro Bowl performer from practicing and playing for most of the 2006 season.

But the good news is that Sanders has been able to practice twice this week, something that he hasn’t been able to do all season, returning for workouts on Tuesday and Wednesday. He was allowed to sit out Thursday’s practice as a precaution, but that was more to rest up after an intensive amount of work the last two days.

“We rested Bob Sanders, but that was the plan. He had two good days of practice. I anticipate him playing,” Colts coach Tony Dungy said after Thursday’s workout. Dungy added that cornerback Nick Harper (ankle) also sat out but is expected to start against the Chiefs.

“Nick Harper did not practice but we still anticipate him playing. But everything else went pretty good and pretty smoothly.”

Offensive guard Ryan Lilja (knee) and wide receiver Ricky Proehl (hamstring) have not practiced this week and most likely won’t suit up on Saturday. Outside linebacker Keith O’Neil (knee) was able to take part in Thursday’s workout and should be available for special teams work against Kansas City.

As for Sanders, Dungy does plan on monitoring his playing time against the Chiefs. Physical conditioning and stamina will be key since the former Iowa standout has been sidelined for so long.

“He hasn’t had a lot of practice time. Conditioning is going to be something that we’re concerned about. We’ll monitor him during the game. But I think that he’s going to play well, I think he’s going to play with a lot of energy. How many plays that is we’ll see,” the Colts coach said.

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