With Hayden, Hughes out, Colts thin in secondary vs. Patriots

Updated: November 2, 2008, 8:00 PM ET
By Paul Kuharsky | ESPN.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- Matt Cassel and the Patriots passing attack will be going against a severely injury-depleted Colts secondary at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday night.

The same week the Colts lost starting right cornerback Marlin Jackson for the season with a knee injury, left cornerback Kelvin Hayden was expected back from knee and hamstring injuries. But Hayden was inactive, as was reserve cornerback Dante Hughes (ankle).

Tim Jennings was starting at right cornerback with Keiwan Ratliff at left cornerback.

Colts safety Bob Sanders was active for the first time since Indianapolis played Jacksonville in Week 3. Sanders was the league's defensive player of the year last season, but he sprained his ankle in Week 2 against Minnesota.

Sanders also had arthroscopic knee surgery during his absence. Coach Tony Dungy has said the procedure did not delay Sanders' return.

The Patriots had their own problems. Running backs Sammy Morris and LaMont Jordan were inactive. Morris was out due to a bad knee, and Jordan was out with a calf injury.

Morris hurt his knee during New England's 41-7 win over the Denver Broncos on Oct. 20 and sat out last week's win over St. Louis. Jordan missed his fourth straight game. Kevin Faulk and BenJarvus Green-Ellis served as the team's running backs.

Colts running back Joseph Addai also was active after missing the past two games with a hamstring injury.

It was not yet clear what Indianapolis would do in nickel situations, but the options are limited for the third cornerback against the Patriots, who like to line up three wide receivers, with Wes Welker inside.

Nick Graham was the only other active corner for Indianapolis. Safety Melvin Bullitt played very well in place of Sanders. Bullitt could factor into some packages.

Indianapolis linebacker Freddy Keiaho (knee) was also inactive.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter