Schefter: Freeney likely to play Sunday

The status of Dwight Freeney’s injured ankle was trending upward as the week came to an end and it sounds the Colts defensive end is going to play in Super Bowl XLIV.

Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports that Freeney will test the ankle during pregame warmups and, barring a setback, will be in the lineup when the Colts face the Saints. It’s not known how much Freeney would be able to play, but it seems a safe bet that he’ll be rushing Drew Brees on obvious passing downs.

Schefter calls Freeney a football version of Willis Reed, the Knicks center revered for taking the court in Game Seven of the 1970 NBA Finals with a torn muscle in his thigh. Reed didn’t play much against the Lakers that night, but hit his first two shots and was credited with inspiring his team’s eventual victory.

The situations are a bit different, especially since everyone has more or less expected Freeney would play, but a big play or two from Freeney could have a similar motivational effect.