Colts hit hard again by injuries

INDIANAPOLIS — Colts president Bill Polian is just looking for a few good replacements.

On Saturday, the Colts put former first-round pick Anthony Gonzalez on season-ending injured reserve because of a posterior cruciate ligament injury in the receiver's left knee and left five other players, including running backs Joseph Addai and Mike Hart, behind as the team flew to Philadelphia.

The injury list is so long that Polian had to revise the team's long-held mantra about injuries.

"It's next man up, and right now, we're looking around to see who the next man is," Polian joked as he scouted the Iowa-Indiana game Saturday. "You just have to play through it and hope that the worm turns at some point and we get a little luck as opposed to what we've had over the last seven or eight weeks."

For the second straight year, Gonzalez will finish the season on injured reserve — the 12th Colts player to join the list. But it appears he does not need surgery.

Other injuries could be more damaging to the team's depth.

With Addai and Hart ailing, the Colts will have only three healthy running backs for today's game: 2009 first-round pick Donald Brown, undrafted rookie and former Miami standout Javarris James and Andre Brown.

With blocking tight end Brody Eldridge (elbow) out, rookie guard Jacques McClendon will wear No. 80, making him an eligible replacement at tight end. Linebacker Clint Session and cornerback Justin Tryon also did not travel.

But quarterback Peyton Manning is expected to make his 200th consecutive start.

"He certainly makes up for lots of deficiencies," Polian said. "One of the things we've got to do is protect him, and we're doing a pretty good job of that."

Bengals: Defensive tackle Tank Johnson (knee), linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy (ankle), linebacker Keith Rivers (foot) and defensive end Frostee Rucker (knee) are questionable for Monday's game against the Steelers.

Bills: Three days after being claimed off waivers from the Chargers, linebacker Shawne Merriman expressed his readiness to resurrect his career. "They have high expectations for me to come in and make some things happen, and I'm going to do that," said Merriman, the 12th overall pick in 2005. "Whatever they need me to do, I'm here to work and kind of be a piece of the puzzle." He will begin practicing Monday and could play next week against the Lions.

Chargers: Though listed as doubtful, tight end Antonio Gates plans to test his injured foot before today's game at Houston. Safety Steve Gregory was activated after missing four games for violating the league's policy on banned substances, and receiver Richard Goodman was released.

Giants: Receiver/kick returner Darius Reynaud (hamstring) was downgraded to out for today's game at Seattle, and Will Blackmon will return kicks.

Packers: Safety Atari Bigby was activated from the physically unable to perform list and made available for tonight's game against the Cowboys.

Patriots: Offensive lineman Logan Mankins, a Pro Bowl player and second-team All-Pro pick in 2007 and 2009, was activated for today's game against the Browns. He reported to the team last week after holding out for the first seven games in search of a better contract. Safety Patrick Chung (knee) was downgraded to out, and cornerback Terrence Wheatley was released.

Colts hit hard again by injuries 11/06/10 [Last modified: Saturday, November 6, 2010 10:20pm]

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