The Washington Times-Herald

Indianapolis Colts

October 12, 2012

Colts hope to get healthy on defense

INDIANAPOLIS —

If the Indianapolis Colts could get both of its starting outside linebackers -- Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis -- on the field together for more than four quarters this season, it would be interesting to see how just how quickly the team's defensive unit could continue its development.
 
The Pro Bowl pair started the season opener against Chicago but Freeney incurried a high ankle sprain in the first quarter of the Colts' 44-21 loss to the Bears. He returned for last week's win over Green Bay, recording his first sack of the season in the process.
 
Mathis, meanwhile, held things down as one of the defense's senior leaders for the first three games. He was playing well last Sunday against the Packers before being sidelined with a sprained knee early in the fourth quarter. Mathis is expected to be sidelined for two to three weeks, although it could be longer than that.
 
For his part, Freeney came out of the Green Bay game in relatively good shape although his ankle was a bit sore. He is not expected to practice much this week but should play against the New York Jets on Sunday.
 
"I’m going to limit his reps to make sure he’s there on Sunday. You do that with five star guys. With young guys, you get every rep. But he’ll be fine," interim coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said this week.
 
Freeney said that he kidded Mathis in the Colts' training room about missing the next couple of games.
 
"I was giving him a hard time this morning. I was like, ‘Man, you’re taking time off because I’m back now. What are we doing, switching roles?’ It’s football. It’s a violent game. You hate to see a guy go down but it’s part of the game," he said.

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