Colts hoping Marvin Harrison's return gives offense a boost Print
Written by Admin   
Thursday, 10 January 2008 23:58
NFL Headline News

 INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -Indianapolis learned how to cope without Marvin Harrison.
Now the Colts need to readjust to getting him back.
After missing 10 straight games because of a left knee injury, Harrison is expected to make his return Sunday in an AFC divisional playoff game against San Diego. If all goes well, Harrison's presence should give the Colts' already potent offense a boost as Indy tries to defend its Super Bowl title.
``With Marvin we can do a lot more things because he understands things better,'' running back Joseph Addai said Thursday. ``With the young guys we had to simplify some things, which is good, but the defense will have to respect him because of what he's done in the past.''
With Harrison, the Colts (13-3) could become more dangerous in the playoffs.
Peyton Manning and Harrison have been the foundation for one of the league's highest-scoring and dependable units over the last decade. Each has been selected to eight Pro Bowls and together they have set NFL records for the most completions (898), yards (12,155) and touchdowns (107) by a quarterback-receiver tandem.
Without Harrison, however, the Colts didn't drop off much. They still scored 450 points, won a fifth straight AFC South title and got career-best seasons from two-time Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne and tight end Dallas Clark.
But during his absence, the Colts also lost back-to-back games to San Diego and New England - losses many believe might not have occurred if Harrison played. So getting him back in uniform could be a real boon for Indy.
``He's a guy that knows how to play the game and the stage won't be too big for him,'' coach Tony Dungy said. ``That part we're not really concerned about. I think he's going to help us and help us be more explosive.''
But plugging injured players into the lineup can be tricky.
Manning has spent the last three months looking for other receivers. He's relied on improvised game plans, which included new formations and moving his old standbys around more often.
In fact, Clark still attributes his big playoff performances last year to shaking off some of the rust in the regular-season finale after he missed four straight games with a knee injury.
Harrison hasn't been as fortunate. Since bruising his left knee after Denver's D.J. Williams rolled into his leg on Sept. 30, his practice time has been sporadic and his playing time nonexistent - creating questions about how crisp the timing between Manning and Harrison might be.
Harrison did practice Wednesday and Thursday.
``No, I can't say he'll play for sure,'' Dungy said. ``But he practiced well yesterday and we set up sort of a pitch-count for him and he exceeded that because he wanted to. So I think he feels good and we'll see Sunday.''
Of course, Dungy has been through this before, too.
Two weeks ago, Harrison appeared ready to go against Tennessee. Instead, the Colts had him work out in pregame warmups then held him out of the game.
The good news is that Harrison, a 12-year veteran, and Manning, a 10-year veteran, have been around long enough to know each other's tendencies and expectations.
The danger, of course, is that they could be rusty Sunday against a San Diego defense that has forced a league-high 48 turnovers and still ranks as one of the best in the league, leaving Manning in a new situation.
``We've never really crossed this bridge before,'' Manning said. ``He's been an unbelievably durable guy during his whole career. I think the most time we've ever not been together was my rookie year when he missed the last four games. It's really the first time it's ever happened, so we'll see, I guess. I can't give you a definitive answer.''
Just having Harrison on the field, though, would help.
San Diego (12-5) may have to decide who will face extra defenders, the well-established Harrison or Wayne, the emerging star.
``Defenses don't have to double-team you over there, so it does change your offense some,'' Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday said. ``I don't know that it changed us, but I think it changed a lot of the defenses we saw.''
If Harrison does play Sunday, the Chargers will be hard-pressed to make that choice, knowing there could be consequences either way in a winner-takes-all game.
``We don't expect 88 to be as effective as he's accustomed to being, you know, with his knee bothering him, because we're going to hit him,'' Chargers safety Clinton Hart said. ``If he catches it, we're going to hit him. So we think he may be a decoy, if he's out there.''
 

NFL Team Pages

Top NFL Public Bets

#1 463 New Orleans Saints 78%
#2 265 Dallas Cowboys 76%
#3 485 San Francisco 49ers 75%
#4 280 San Francisco 49ers 75%
#5 481 New England Patriots 72%
#6 488 Denver Broncos 72%
#7 277 Houston Texans 71%
#8 268 Atlanta Falcons 69%
#9 480 Kansas City Chiefs 69%
#10 263 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 67%
View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

NFL Futures

NFL TEAM CONFERENCE ODDS CURRENT
DENVER BRONCOS 9/4
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 3/1
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 17/4
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 9/2
GREEN BAY PACKERS 6/1
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 7/1
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 7/1
CHICAGO BEARS 15/2
PITTSBURGH STEELERS 12/1
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 14/1
View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.

©1999-2013 TheSpread.com