The 2007 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, who hasn't played in a game since January, is expected to participate in most of the Colts' practice work this week. For the first time this season, Sanders wasn't listed on the team's injury report Wednesday.
Sanders missed all of training camp, all preseason and the first month of the regular season after having surgery on his right knee. The Colts were hoping that Sanders would be back sooner than six weeks, which is why they didn't save a roster spot by putting him on the physically unable to perform list.
But now, it appears, Sanders is close to playing shape.
"I feel better than I've felt in a long time," Sanders said Wednesday. "I feel excited about that and I'm ready to get in there. But we've not made that decision (about playing) yet."
Injuries have limited Sanders to appearing in just 43 of 85 games in six NFL seasons.
Cornerback Marlin Jackson, a former first-round pick, isn't expected back for at least two more weeks after straining the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. The injury was initially believed to be to Jackson's surgically repaired left knee, but he corrected that Wednesday.
"I saw that in the paper, and that's not the one I had surgery on," Jackson said. "I'm looking to come back after San Francisco (Nov. 1)."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press