Vinatieri, Sanders Ruled Out for Sunday


Posted Sep 23, 2006


The Colts will apparently have to rely on Martin Grammatica for kickoffs and field goals on Sunday against the Jaguars. They'll also be missing Pro Bowl safety Bob Sanders and slot receiver Brandon Stokley. But the condition of three other Colts were upgraded.

Kicker Adam Vinatieri will miss a game for the first time in his 11-year career after straining his groin last Sunday during the Colts victory over the Texans.

The team has also reported that safety Bob Sanders (knee), wide receiver Brandon Stokley (ankle), defensive end Josh Thomas (hip) and defensive tackle Corey Simon have all been declared as out for this week's game against the Jaguars at the RCA Dome. Tight end Ben Hartsock, who was listed as questionable earlier this week, was put on the team's injured reserve list on Friday.

Indianapolis signed former Buccaneer and Colt Martin Gramatica this week, who will now have to handle both the kickoff and field goal duties against Jacksonville. In the Colts' last game against the Jaguars in December, they used four field goals to help fuel a 26-18 win that clinched the AFC South.

Sanders is a surprise scratch, as earlier this week expectations were high that he'd be fine. But he missed both Thursday and Friday's practices due to his knee problem. Thomas, who rotates in at defensive end, has stuggled with a hip flexor problem for a few weeks and will miss his second consecutive game. If defensive end Dwight Freeney (questionable/buttock muscle) can't play, the Colts will be in a bit of a bind as that will leave them with Robert Mathis and two players who have only been with the team since September: former Titan Bo Schobel and rookie Ryan LaCasse.

While Brandon Stokley and Corey Simon are significant losses from a talent perspective, the blow of losing them isn't quite as big by comparison because they hadn't contributed much yet this season. Simon hasn't even practiced since early in training camp and Stokely returned only briefly last weekend before re-aggravating his high ankle sprain.

The team did have some good news to report since the release of Friday's list. Tight ends Bryan Fletcher (knee) and Ben Utecht (concussion), as well as cornerback Nick Harper were upgraded on Saturday's report from questionable to probable.



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