INDIANAPOLIS — Tony Dungy hopes three of his injured starters can play against Tampa Bay this week. He just can't count on it.
So when the Indianapolis Colts went back to work Wednesday, Dungy was making contingency plans for the possible absences of receiver Marvin Harrison, running back Joseph Addai and safety Bob Sanders, all of whom were hurt in last Sunday's victory over Denver.
None of the three practiced Wednesday, and the only certainty was that outside linebacker Rob Morris, another starter, would be placed on injured reserve, ending his season. Morris, the Colts' first-round pick in 2000 and a key ingredient in the defense's postseason resurgence, had surgery Tuesday to repair a tendon in his left knee.
But uncertainty continued swirling around three of the Colts' biggest names.
Harrison, fourth on the NFL's all-time receptions chart, injured his left knee when Denver linebacker D.J. Williams rolled into Harrison's leg while tackling Addai. When the series ended, Harrison headed to the locker room with what the Colts called a bruised knee.
TWO BUCS IN IR: Tampa Bay running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams and left tackle Luke Petitgout were placed on injured reserve Wednesday, officially ending their season. The moves were expected after Williams was carted from the field last Sunday. Williams right leg was caught awkwardly underneath his body when Carolina safety Chris Harris tackled him at the end of an 18-yard run and hurt his right knee.
That means the NFC South leading Buccaneers will face the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts this week without their top runner. The Bucs (3-1) are expected to replace Williams by using the combination of Michael Pittman and Earnest Graham.
RAMS BENCH BULGER: One day after insisting he'd stick with Marc Bulger, St. Louis Rams coach Scott Linehan benched his banged-up quarterback.
The winless Rams will go with backup Gus Frerotte on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, Linehan said Wednesday. Frerotte and Bulger, who has been ineffective while playing with two broken ribs, both got the news Tuesday from the coach and the switch was made public before practice Wednesday.
Linehan also will return to play-calling in an effort to wake up a dormant offense that has scored only two touchdowns, yanking duties from offensive coordinator Greg Olson. Olson was Linehan's first hire when he got the job last year, and will move to the coaches booth, where he'll assist the head coach.
DELHOMME, MORGAN MISS PRACTICE: Quarterback Jake Delhomme and linebacker Dan Morgan were held out of practice Wednesday as the Carolina Panthers began preparations for Sunday's game at New Orleans. Delhomme hasn't thrown since straining his right elbow against Atlanta on Sept. 23. He said he might do some throwing in practice this week, but said the decision is up to the trainers.
Morgan said Monday he has a partially torn Achilles' tendon. Although he said the injury is not season-ending, it will need time for the inflammation to subside.