Super Bowl: Colts' Freeney says ankle pain is subsiding
AP Sports Writer
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — For Dwight Freeney, South Florida is the perfect locale for a Super Bowl — and a sore ankle.
The Colts All-Pro defensive end said he's been walking around barefoot and along the sandy beach outside the team's hotel to strengthen his sprained right ankle. It may be enough to get him into Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints.
"Sometimes walking is good because it keeps things fluid," Freeney said Wednesday. "You hear people say he should be in a boot or something. But sometimes it can get stiff, and you've got to get that motion back in the ankle. It gets the blood flowing, so I've been walking around barefoot and in the sand."
Try doing that in Indianapolis this time of year.
Freeney is questionable for the game after tearing a ligament in the ankle with about 2 minutes left in Indy's 30-17 AFC championship victory over the Jets.
Since then, Freeney, considered one of the league's top pass rushers, has tried almost everything — ice, oxygen chambers, even chiropractors — to get healthy enough to play.
"It's better than yesterday, and yesterday was better than the day before," Freeney said. "It's a slow progression right now, but that's where it is. Every morning I wake up, and it feels a little better."
Freeney isn't the only Colts starter with an injury.
Cornerback Jerraud Powers is questionable with a left foot injury. Powers said he hurt the foot in the first quarter of the divisional-round game against Baltimore. By the third quarter, he had a painful bruise on the right side of the foot, which made it difficult to play. Powers did not play in the AFC title game.
Coach Jim Caldwell said the rookie is improving, and Powers insisted he will play.
"It's coming along fine," Powers said. "I'm starting to cut and move on it, and there's no doubt in my mind that I'll be out there Sunday. I'm not sure about practice. I'm pretty sure the doctors will be pretty conservative about that."
If Powers does play, it would give the Colts secondary a big boost against the league's No. 1-ranked offense. Powers started most of the season opposite Kelvin Hayden. Another rookie, Jacob Lacey, has replaced both players when they were injured. With Powers in the lineup, Lacey would play primarily in nickel packages.
The bigger question is whether the Colts will have their best defender, Freeney, on Sunday.
He finished the season with 13½ sacks and combined with Pro Bowler Robert Mathis to form one of the league's top pass-rushing combinations. All Freeney can do now is wait and see how things turn out.
"I hope to be myself," Freeney said. "Or as close to myself as I can be."