For most of the Colts' season, they have been out of the national media. They haven't been chasing an undefeated season. They haven't had a player with an outburst or controversy. Yesterday, that changed with some great news about Marvin Harrison.
Marvin Harrison has been a Colt since 1996 and before this year, had only missed 3 games all year long. Against the Broncos, the usually consistent Harrison went down with a bruised knee on a freak accident. When Joseph Addai ran to the right, he was tackled right next to Harrison, who was blocking for the second-year running back. When Addai went down, he landed on Harrison's knee. After seeing the highlights, the outlook was not good. He went down awkwardly and looked to be in a lot of pain. However, the bruised knee was much better than what most would have thought. Everyone would have assumed that a bruise couldn't keep Harrison out too long, but that was not the case.
Harrison sat out the next game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After the bye week, Harrison made an appearance against the Jacksonville Jaguars. It appeared that his knee injury was gone, but something must have gone wrong. Nine weeks went by. There was speculation that the injury was much worse, and he may never put on a Colts uniform again. Colts fans were ready to move on with this season. Now, after two days of full practices, Marvin is ready to play in the regular season finale against the Tennessee Titans.
Marvin Harrison is the greatest receiver in Colts history. He is a definite first ballot Hall of Famer. He may not make the biggest impact on the field, but the Colts need another target. With Harrison back for the playoffs, Peyton Manning now has his favorite receiver back in time to play the stingy defense they are bound to face in the AFC Divisional Round. They are either going to play San Diego, Pittsburgh, or Jacksonville. For those teams, they need everyone they can get.
With Marvin in the game, the Colts do not have to use Dallas Clark in the slot like they did last year in the playoffs and for most of this year. With Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison, and Anthony Gonzalez, Dallas Clark will now be covered mainly by linebackers. As he has proved time and time again, linebackers can't cut it against him. Work in Ben Utecht, Bryan Fletcher, and Joseph Addai in the passing game, and they are right up there with the Patriots.
What will this mean in the playoffs? This changes everything for the Colts offense and the opponent's defense. The Colts now have three wide receivers that Peyton has a strong connection with. As he proved in the San Diego game, backup receivers do not work well with Peyton. Craphonso Thorpe and Devin Aromashodu are not going to cut it with number 18. Marvin Harrison and Peyton Manning are the greatest QB-WR duo in the history of the NFL. Harrison coming back changes the entire playoff landscape.