Colts safety Bob Sanders, the hard-nosed, helmet-to-the-shins run-stopper who already is out with a high ankle sprain, has undergone arthroscopic knee surgery.
G.M. Bill Polian previously mentioned that Sanders likely would have the procedure, so that the knee could heal while the ankle does.
“The feeling was the high ankle sprain would take longer [to recover from] than the scope,” owner Jim Irsay said. “I think they just cleaned out a few things [in the knee].”
Usually, the “things” cleaned out of a knee are cartilage that has torn away and is floating around the stuff that makes up the complex web of ligament and bone and muscle that, frankly, should be enough to make even the most devout atheist at least consider the possibility that the human body was formed not randomly but by design.
And as cartilage disappears from the knee, the chances for chronic problems increases.
Still, Irsay said that he doesn’t regret giving Sanders a $37.5 million contract last year.
“I knew when we did the contract that he’s such a rare talent that you have to live a little bit with the possible injuries that come up,” Irsay said. “Bob is so combustible, so physical. He’s so dynamic and such a rare individual.
“It’s something you knew [was possible], but you know he might get on a lucky streak and go a year or two without having anything.”
But it’s dangerous, in our view, to rely upon luck when operating under a hard salary cap. Over the past few years, the Colts have put several players at or near the top of the league-wide pay scale for their respective positions (e.g., Sanders, defensive end Dwight Freeney, tight end Dallas Clark, quarterback Peyton Manning, and receivers Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison). By sinking so much cap space into so few players, less money is available to sign quality backups.
And so when bad luck arises, and guys like Freeney or Sanders or Harrison have extended absences due to injury, the team is forced to rely upon rookies or minimum-salary guys to step in and perform.
In our view, that’s one of the reasons why the Colts are struggling out of the gates this year.