Colts' McFarland may miss season
By Mike Chappell
August 5, 2007
The Indianapolis Colts might have to mount their Super Bowl defense without a big part of their defense -- tackle Anthony McFarland.
According to multiple sources, McFarland has informed teammates and close friends he suffered a serious knee injury in a training camp practice Friday at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute. It's believed he tore a patella tendon, which likely would be season-ending.
Neither McFarland nor his agent, Karl Bernard, could be reached for comment. The Colts also had no comment when contacted Sunday afternoon. Saturday, coach Tony Dungy said McFarland was one of several players who underwent a magnetic resonance imaging test in Indianapolis.
Dungy described the procedure as "precautionary," but the damage apparently was severe.
Losing McFarland, 29 and in his ninth season, would be a substantial blow to the Colts' defense. The unit was instrumental in the team capturing its first world championship in 36 years, but ranked last in the league against the run during the regular season.
Even with the 300-pound McFarland anchoring the middle of the defense, the Colts allowed 173 rushing yards per game and 5.3 yards per attempt.
McFarland's loss comes on the heels of the team terminating the contract of veteran defensive tackle Corey Simon. Ironically, McFarland's injury occurred almost a year to the day Simon suffered an injury to his right knee that required surgery and contributed to him missing the entire season.
The Colts acquired McFarland last October in a trade with Tampa Bay, sending the Bucs a second-round draft pick.
With McFarland out of the mix, the interior of the defensive line loses experience and bulk. Raheem Brock returns for his second season as a starter, but the depth behind him includes Darrell Reid, Dan Klecko, Quinn Pitcock and Keyunta Dawson. Reid and Klecko have appeared in a total of 62 regular-season games, but only four as starters. Pitcock was a third-round pick in the April draft who missed the first week of training camp with a leg injury while Dawson is a seventh-round draft pick.