The Indianapolis Colts will be without seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker Dwight Freeney for their home opener against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. The Indianapolis Star's Mike Chappell tweeted the news from coach Chuck Pagano's press conference Friday afternoon.
Freeney suffered an ankle injury in the season opener against the Chicago Bears and didn't practice all week. Pagano called him day-to-day. The Colts were able to pressure quarterback Jay Cutler early, but that ended when Freeney left the game.
"Well, Dwight is one of those game wreckers now," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said this week. "He has been for a long, long time. I witnessed him just destroying offenses' game plans and people just changing their game plans because of Dwight, much like they do here with Jared (Allen).
"So, to not have Dwight on the field, it would definitely change how offenses approach you. It would change how we would approach the Colts if he didn't play. That's just the way it is. He's that dominant of a player, even at this stage of his career. He's still a guy that can change the game."
Third-year linebacker Jerry Hughes replaces Freeney in the 3-4 scheme. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky will have to find a way to create pressure with Robert Mathis now likely to see extra blockers in his vicinity.Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.