INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -The Indianapolis Colts have a message for anybody who may expect the team to have an emotional letdown in the wake of last week's loss to New England: Think again.
``I think we understand what's at stake,'' coach Tony Dungy said. ``We can't afford a letdown because we have to get ourselves going and get back on the winning track.''
The Colts (7-1) face the Chargers (4-4) Sunday night at Qualcomm Stadium. Despite their record, the Chargers are tied for first place with Kansas City in the AFC West, and Dungy is taking nothing for granted.
``They're still in first place,'' Dungy said. ``It's not like they're out of it in their division race, so we expect to see that team that everyone thought they would see from them.''
The Colts could have their work cut out for them against San Diego's big, physical front line, which includes outside linebackers Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips, he said. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie could also present a challenge.
``You can't really block them with backs on a regular basis, so that forces you to do some different things, and that opens it up for other people,'' Dungy said.
The Colts, meanwhile, continue to deal with injuries, though linebackers Rocky Boiman (shoulder) and Gary Brackett (hip) and offensive guard Ryan Lilja (team decision) returned to practice Thursday.
Tight end Dallas Clark (concussion) went through a walkthrough session Thursday but did not practice, and safety Bob Sanders took his usual day off to rest old injuries. Defensive end Dwight Freeney (team decision) sat out a second straight day but is expected to be ready for Sunday's game. Cornerback Marlin Jackson, (foot), also might play Sunday, Dungy said.
Others sitting out included receiver Marvin Harrison (knee), defensive tackle Raheem Brock (neck), linebacker Tyjuan Hagler (neck), linebacker Freddy Keiaho (ear) and offensive tackle Tony Ugoh (neck).
Cornerback Kelvin Hayden (team decision) also sat out Thursday's practice.

Recent NFL Discussions

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail SBLI: Patriots favored over Falcons Following their victory in the AFC title game, the Patriots have opened as small favorites over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
Thumbnail AFC Championship Game Prediction Are the Steelers a good bet to cover versus the Patriots in tonight's AFC Championship Game at 6:40PM ET?
Thumbnail AFC Title Spread Holding Steady Kickoff of tonight's AFC Championship Game is set for 6:40PM ET between the Steelers and Patriots. Where is the point spread currently?
Thumbnail Public Bettors backing Patriots Are public bettors backing Tom Brady and the Patriots today in the AFC Championship Game, or the underdog Steelers at 6:40PM ET?
Thumbnail NFC Title First Player to Score Pick Who will score the first touchdown in the NFC Championship Game today at 3:05PM ET? Let's take a look at the odds first.

NFL Team Pages