MIAMI (Reuters) - Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney is doubtful for next week’s Super Bowl, the team said on Sunday.
Freeney has not practiced since last week’s AFC Championship game win over the New York Jets and the team responded to speculation by releasing a statement.
The Colts said Freeney has a “low, third-degree ankle injury. Similar to a basketball (ankle) injury. We feel he’ll be questionable (for the game).”
Indianapolis face the New Orleans Saints in Miami on February 7.
Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, already in the city for Sunday’s Pro Bowl, said he was unclear over Freeney’s status or any impact his absence could have on the team.
“It’s hard to speculate at this point. Dwight’s one of our best players, we know that, but all season long coach Caldwell has talked about picking up the band act.
“Someone’s got to step up and if Dwight’s not able to go it will be tough but somebody else will step up and we’ll feel confident in whoever that is,” he told reporters.
Tight end Dallas Clark said he was sure that Freeney would give his all to be fit... if he could.
“With Freeney, he has had injuries before where they said he’s not going to play and he has come back,” Clark said.
“He is a competitor and one of the toughest guys on our team and I never expect him to miss anything, because of the character he has and the kind of guy he is.
“I hope he can play. He is a game changer.”
Editing by John O'brien