For more on the Colts, follow Reggie Hayes via Twitter at www.twitter.com/reggiehayes1
INDIANAPOLIS – Colts fans well remember the game-by-game – will he or won't he? – anticipation of whether former safety Bob Sanders would be healthy enough to play and, as a result, alter games. LaRon Landry looks like the second coming.
Landry has spent a good chunk of his first season with the Colts fighting injury and trying to get back in the lineup. Like Sanders, when Landry is on the field, the tone changes. He puts some doubt in receivers' minds and hits like a freight train.
Landry is expected to return to the Colts lineup just in time to face Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos at 8:30 tonight in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Here's a quick look at the Colts hard hitter:
Ht: 6-0; Wt: 226; Age: 29; College: LSU; How acquired by the Colts: Signed as an unrestricted free agent 2013
Fast facts: Landry earned his first Pro Bowl nod with the New York Jets in 2012, a season where he made 113 tackles, forced four fumbles and picked off two passes. …In the season opener against Oakland this season, he led the Colts with 15 tackles and defended one pass. He tied Pat Angerer for most tackles (11) in Game 2. …Landry's single-game career high was 18 tackles against the Cowboys when he played for the Redskins in 2010. …He has six career interceptions. …He owns a white-faced capuchin monkey named Gucci.
Landry on coming off the injured list: “I know it's a big upcoming game, but my main focus was just to get out there and just get myself back on track. Being injured is no fun. Just staying in the training room rehabbing, it's kind of boring. I'm passionate about the game, I love the game, and just to week-in and week-out being in front of the tube watching the guys go out there and play together as a team and a family and have fun and win ball games and feel like you're not a part of it is kind of hurtful. Just getting back out there on the field from these four weeks, it feels great.”
Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky on how Landry looked in practice this week: “Good. It was good to get him back into the mix. It's been a month now that we haven't had him. So it'll be good to get him back on the field and see how he does. He looked pretty good moving around. He's got fresh legs after a month. He's doing all right.”
Landry on Denver's offense: “Everybody knows Peyton's a great quarterback, one of the best. You really got to be sound in your coverage, give different looks, disguises. You've got to be on top of your game, hands down. He has a lot of weapons surrounding him. For us, it's all about what we create, what we do on the back end and disguising and just playing sound in coverage. Peyton's going to be Peyton. He's going to make some plays but we've got to respond.”
Landry on Manning's ability to read defenses: “Predominantly, quarterbacks look at the safeties to see if we're in a single-high, Cover 2 or what have you. So our emphasis is going to be on the safeties anyway. He's going to catch us sometimes disguising. He waits until the play clock basically gets down to zero to snap the ball, so we've got to really hold our coverage and be able to get to our job if we get caught at the wrong time. So it's like a cat-and-mouse game playing against Peyton. I know it will be.”
Colts coach Chuck Pagano on Landry playing against Broncos: “You're going to need as much speed and athleticism as you can possibly get on the field. They got game-wreckers all over the place between wide receivers, tight ends, backs. Certainly getting LaRon back is going to be a help and (Jerrell) Freeman getting healthy and getting cleared is a bonus.”