Thereâ€™s more bad news for the Colts. First there was the release of DT Corey Smith. Smith came to the Colts in 2005 after playing six seasons with the Eagles. In 13 games with Indy, he had 35 tackles, 26 solo and no sacks. Near the end of the 2005 season, he suffered a knee injury.Smith, who had been deemed the franchise player by Philadelphia, was a former pro-bowler and one of the primary ingredients that the Colts hoped would get them to the Big Dance in 2005 and, when that didnâ€™t materialize, in 2006. Indianapolis had given him a hefty $30 million contract.
Unfortunately, Smith never played one snap in 2006. After missing most of the teamâ€™s off-season program, he was placed on the non-football injury list with polyarthritis. He was released on Saturday, August 4 after failing his physical. By that time, he had received $14 million of his $30 million deal.
With Smithâ€™s injury in 2006, the Colts went looking for someone to fill the void and found a fine one in Tampa Bayâ€™s DT Anthony McFarland. The bulky McFarland, who came to Indianapolis in October, filled the gap with fine playâ€”hitting for 40 tackles. With 28 solo stops and three sacks in the regular season and 12 tackles and two sacks in the playoffs, he was instrumental in improving the Coltâ€™s defense, especially versus the run where they had suffered at the top of the 2006 season.
On Friday, August 3, McFarland injured his patella tendon, which is located in his knee. This is a major blow to the Colt â€œD.â€? After undergoing an MRI, he did not participate in drills on Saturday.
Coach Tony Dungy noted that the injury could be â€œlong-termâ€? and that surgery looked inevitable.
The Colts feel that Raheem Brock, who has five-years in the NFL (all with Indy) can take on one DT position. Last season he had 48 tackles and 3.0 sacks. The other DT is a huge toss-up. Remember how bad the Coltsâ€™ run defense was last year before McFarland came on board? Look for Indy to try to make a deal ASAP.