News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Given to Fly

December 15, 2006

Given to Fly: Colts, writer working to regain injured form

TERRE HAUTE — They’re not who we thought they were.

Not the Chicago Bears. The Indianapolis Colts are not the Super Bowl favorites we thought when coach Tony Dungy’s team prepared for the season at Rose-Hulman.

The season’s not over but the demoralizing loss to Jacksonville might put an end to serious Super Bowl aspirations for Indy fans.

The Chargers are just too good on both sides of the ball — how is anyone going to stop LaDainian Tomlinson? The Ravens are still looking tough. The Bengals are even playing defense now.

With another loss Monday night against Cincinnati, the Colts might prove that they’re fourth best team in the AFC.

The league’s worst rush defense will be impossible to overcome in the playoffs.

“It’s fixable,” Tony Dungy has said.

Injuries to Bob Sanders, Antoine Bethea and Mike Doss have hurt, and Corey Simon’s early-season loss was detrimental.

If the Colts can overcome that defense, it will be because Peyton Manning has some superhuman playoff performances.

Tribune-Star sportswriter David Hughes says he could block for sports editor Todd Golden and I and we could pick up some yards against the Colts.

Hughes might be a little delirious; he is at home recovering from the effects of a surgery to repair a torn right triceps.

Hughes suffered the injury while lifting weights Dec. 6 when his triceps shredded in three places. He underwent surgery to repair the muscle Tuesday.

We’re not sure when we’ll have Hughes back in the office, but his wife Lisa said she’d be glad to give him back to us. We could definitely use him.

The 47-year-old last competed in powerlifting competition in 1999. He won three national championships in the American Drug Free Power Lifting Association.

“My serious power lifting days are probably over,” said Hughes, who is struggling to get his range of motion back and still hurting from the effects of the surgery. He will continue seeing an occupational therapist, but it could take 10 to 12 months to get back to normal.

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