Colts DT McFarland out for 'long-term' with knee injury
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The Indianapolis Colts likely will have to defend their Super Bowl title without a key member of their defensive line.
Defensive tackle Anthony McFarland, an important contributor in the Colts' championship season, will likely miss extensive playing time after injuring his knee in training camp.
McFarland hurt the patella tendon Friday and missed Saturday's controlled scrimmage after an MRI showed the extent of the injury, the team said.
Colts coach Tony Dungy called the injury serious and that it might need surgery, but did not give details on how it happened.
"It's a long-term injury," Dungy said. "It's [surgery] something that we're contemplating. It's something that I think is going to happen."
McFarland, who was obtained in a trade from Tampa last season and helped shore up the Colts' run defense in the playoffs, left the field early during Friday's workout. He was sent to Indianapolis for an MRI, along with strong side linebacker Rob Morris and defensive end Robert Mathis.
Morris returned to practice Monday, and Mathis was expected back soon, but not McFarland.
"He's not going to be back in the next three or four weeks or anything like that," Dungy said.
Raheem Brock will start at one defensive tackle spot, but it was unclear who would eventually take over McFarland's role.
Rookie defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock, a third-round draft pick from Ohio State, could fill in. Pitcock practiced for the first time Monday after missing the first week of camp with a leg injury. Dungy also said rookie defensive end Keyunta Dawson will get a look.
Dawson, a seventh-round pick, has seen some work at defensive tackle in camp and was impressive in the controlled scrimmage, with two sacks, a forced fumble and a recovered fumble.
Dungy also did not rule out trying to find another defensive tackle on the NFL's waiver wire or through a trade. But he said the team would rather look at its own roster for help.
"We won't leave any stone unturned. But for the most part, guys that are here are the guys that we're counting on," Dungy said.
Brock said it's up to the younger players to fill in.
"That's what we've got to do. When somebody gets hurt, another guy has to step up," Brock said.
Even with the 6-foot, 300-pound McFarland, the Colts had problems against the run last season, allowing 173 yards on the ground per game. Now Indianapolis apparently will have to replace its best run-stuffer.
McFarland's injury comes soon after the team parted ways with defensive lineman Corey Simon, who missed all of last season with a knee injury and reportedly failed a Colts physical last week.
McFarland was acquired from the Buccaneers at the trading deadline last season.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- Rodgers still not ready to return for Packers
- Welker likely out until playoffs, sources say
- Vikes' Peterson 'ready to roll' vs. Bengals
- Bears' Briggs medically cleared to return
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
NFL TRAINING CAMPS
The countdown is on toward the start of the 2007 season; rosters were trimmed to 75 by Tuesday and reached 53 by Saturday. The regular season starts Sept. 6 when the Saints visit Indianapolis to face the Super Bowl champion Colts. Camp index
Analysis• Clayton: Waiver claims interesting
• Clayton: Big cutdown day on Saturday
• Redskins re-sign Cooley
• Priest Holmes comeback on hold
• Bengals acquire QB Fitzpatrick from Rams
• Seahawks lose DT Tubbs for season
• DT Simon agrees to deal with Titans
• Pats' Samuel signs one-year franchise tender
• Giants, Strahan have constructive talks
• Ogden passes physical, returns to Ravens roster
• Browns place center Bentley on PUP list
• Roundup: Two-time Olympic skier Bloom cut by Eagles
• Roundup: Steelers' Ward has nose surgery
- Rico Indianapolis Colts Banner Flag