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Colts defensive tackle Eric Foster, hospitalized overnight after dislocating his right ankle during Monday Night Football against the Bucs, will undergo surgery, coach Jim Caldwell confirmed after the game. The operation is expected to end his season.
The video of Foster injuring his ankle is quite gruesome, and it wasn't a surprise to see so several of his teammates appear to fight back tears while he was being tended to on the field. But as Foster was being carted off the field, he thumped his chest and yelled words of encouragement to his teammates, which you can see in the video below:
Ultimately, the Colts needed healthy bodies more than words of encouragement -- starting offensive linemen Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana also left with injury -- and the Colts lost the game. But still, it was an inspirational moment to an otherwise sad turn of events.
Several hours after the game, Foster once again sent a positive message, this time to his thousands of followers on Twitter, many of whom had sent tweets of support:
For a while there, the Colts looked like a half-decent team — even with Curtis Painter spelling Peyton Manning in his first NFL start. In the end, the Buccaneers stuck around long enough to pull out a win on the legs of LeGarrette Blount. The Bucs running back's found the pylon for the final score of the game and Tampa Bay earned a 24-17 win on Monday Night Football.
With the win, the Bucs move to 3-1, while the Colts remain winless. Below, we recap some highlights from the game.
Offensive Player of the Game: This award goes to Blount, who barreled his way to 127 yards and the game-winning touchdown. This animated gif says it all:
Offensive Player of the Game II: Colts wide receiver Pierre Garcon had just two catches, but they were both long distance touchdown strikes. His first grab went 87 yards, the longest regular season touchdown pass in franchise history.
Lasting Image of the Game: The gruesome Eric Foster injury will be hard to forget.
Lasting Image of the Game II: Peyton Manning disgusted in the coach's box.
The Buccaneers have been hanging around with the Colts all night and with three minutes left in the fourth quarter, LeGarrette Blount gave Tampa Bay its first lead of the Monday Night Football showdown. The Bucs running back rumbled into the end zone from 35 yards out and found the pylon. After the touchdown, the Bucs lead Indy 24-17 with very little time on the clock.
The touchdown was so nice, we could watch it over and over and over. Like this:
Blount has feasted on the Colts defense on Sunday night, racking up 115 yards so far on 21 carries. The 35-yard touchdown was his longest carry of the night.
Colts defensive tackle Eric Foster was carted off the field during Monday's game against the Buccaneers after suffering a gruesome injury to his right leg. According to Phillip Wilson of the Indianapolis Star, we have an official diagnosis:
The Colts probably won't offer an official estimate for how much time Foster will miss, but looking at the video, it wouldn't be a surprise at all if this was a season-ending injury. His right ankle was literally pointing 90 degrees in the wrong direction after teammate Tyler Brayton accidentally rolled into his legs.
The Colts have shown signs of life in Monday's game, but this is clearly something of a lost year. Even if Foster can stage a miraculous return by the end of the season, the odds of the Colts still being in playoff contention are slim to none.
Foster is in his fourth season with the Colts, signing with the team as an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers in 2008. He's appeared in 48 games, including 18 starts.
For more on the Colts, head to the SB Nation blog Stampede Blue.
The Bucs are determined to make this Monday Night Football game a watchable contest. Running back Preston Parker capped a 13-play, 80-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Josh Freeman to tie up the score vs. the Colts at 17-17 as the third quarter comes to a close.
The Buccaneers were down 10-0, then 17-10, but have continued to come back. Including that TD pass, Josh Freeman has completed 23 of his 37 pass attempts for 269 yards. Freeman has spread the ball around, and eight players have at least one reception for Tampa Bay. Mike Williams has been the biggest target with five catches for 66 yards.
Here's video of the touchdown:
Garcon has just two catches on the night, but each has been HUGE. This touchdown went 59 yards on the first play of the drive. In the second quarter, Garcon took a pass from Curtis Painter 87 yards for a touchdown. That play was the longest regular season touchdown pass in Colts franchise history.
The two electric plays have helped lift the Colts, who are starting Painter for the first time in his career. The Purdue product has thrown for 214 yards so far, 146 of which have come on those two aforementioned connections with Garcon.
Here's video of the touchdown pass:
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered the half trailing the Indianapolis Colts 10-7 after botching a last second field goal try. To open the second half, the Bucs marched down the field in 11 plays to kick a field goal to tie it up 10-10. The drive opened with a 23-yard pass from Josh Freeman to Mike Williams.
A few plays later the Colts were able to force the Bucs into a 3rd and long, also tacking on a holding penalty to make it 3rd and 19. On the very next play, defensive end Dwight Freeney lined up offsides to put it back at 3rd and 14. The Bucs wound up converting on a 17 yard pass that included some nifty yards after the catch by Mike Williams. On the replay, the broadcast crew noted the Colts were in somewhat of a prevent defense, that saw linebacker Pat Angerer lined up 20-yards down field.
Isn't prevent supposed to prevent a 14 yard gain on 3rd and 14?
After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers forced the Indianapolis Colts to go three-and-out late in the second quarter, they began driving down the field in the two minute drill. Josh Freeman led the Bucs down the field on short pass after short pass and picked up chunks of yardage to wind up in field goal range. With plenty of time on the clock, the Bucs figured they would take a shot or two at the endzone before kicking a field goal as time expired.
Josh Freeman dropped back to pass, held the ball and wound up getting sacked by defensive end Robert Mathis. Freeman immediately bounced up, as the Bucs had zero timeouts, and called for a spike to stop the clock. Instead, the Bucs scrambled to get their field goal unit on the field with just seconds left in the half. The field goal unit rush out, lined up, and kicked a field goal. IT'S GOOD!
Except Dezmon Briscoe was still on the field, as the 12th man. The Bucs get a flag for too many men on the field and negate the field goal. Check out the video below to see the entire scramble in all of it's failing glory.
Colts defensive tackle Eric Foster was taken off the field with an ugly injury near the end of the first half on Monday Night Football. Players from the Colts and Bucs knelt on the field as Foster was carted away for medical attention.
Foster appeared to get tangled up with Colts defensive end Tyler Brayton as the pair of linemen pursued Bucs QB Josh Freeman. In the video below, you can see Foster getting caught under Brayton's leg and crumpling to the turf.
Fair warning: the video is tough to watch — just ask anyone who saw it live. Anyone, including LeBron James.
The animated GIF is even more gut-wrenching, but it's provided below, too, if that's your thing.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman ran a quarterback sneak for a touchdown to bring the Bucs within three points of the Indianapolis Colts, 10-7. After Pierre Garcon's 87-yard touchdown catch, the Bucs got the ball back and marched right down the football field. Josh Freeman hit Arrelious Benn on a long 43-yard pass, then hit three short passes, all for first downs, to get the Bucs into the redzone.
On a short pass to slot receiver Preston Parker for 11-yards, it put the Bucs right on the goal line. Much to the chagrin of LeGarrette Blount fantasy owners like myself, Freeman ran a QB sneak into the endzone. The Bucs forced the Colts to a 3-and-out on their ensuing drive to get the ball back before halftime.
The Bucs missed an opportunity for a big score at the close of the first quarter when wide receiver Arrelious Benn was ruled out of bounds prior to catching a pass and scampering into the end zone. In the second quarter, the Colts made them pay as Pierre Garcon managed to stay in bounds on an 87-yard catch and run down the sideline for a touchdown. The score gave the Colts a 10-0 lead.
But the best part of the play is that with this strike Curtis Painter -- the Colts backup QB who is starting his first game tonight -- passed Peyton Manning for the longest regular season touchdown pass in franchise history. Manning held the previous record, an 86-yard TD in 2001.
Here's a video of the record-setting catch:
Garcon's catch was upheld on an official review.
So, the obvious question: Who needs Peyton Manning?
It appeared that Arrelious Benn had scored the first touchdown of this Colts vs. Bucs game on Monday Night Football. The Buccaneers wide receiver eluded several would-be Indy tacklers for a long TD strike from Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman. But the score was erased when it was ruled that Benn had stepped out of bounds prior to catching the pass. The score remained Colts 3, Bucs 0.
The animated gif below confirms the official's ruling:
The score might not count, but the play is definitely worth watching in full. The main takeaway: how the heck did the Colts not manage to wrap Benn up before he got into the end zone. See for yourself:
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Curtis Painter fumbles the football in the video below. In the Colts first drive, Painter didn't look as terrible as most expected and got the Colts the lead with a field goal. On the very next drive Painter fumbled, however.
Fortunately for the Colts, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers missed the field goal try on the ensuing possession.
Peyton Manning who? Colts quarterback Curtis Painter led Indianapolis to a field goal in his first drive as a starter. The Colts lead the Buccaneers 3-0 early in the first quarter on Monday Night Football.
Painter was 3-for-6 for 36 yards on the opening drive, including a 21-yard strike to tight end Dallas Clark.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez is inactive for tonight's Monday Night Football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. According to Phillip B Wilson of the Indianapolis Star on his Twitter account, to his knowledge Gonzalez is a healthy scratch tonight.
To my knowledge, nothing is wrong with #Colts WR Anthony Gonzalez. Guess they don't have any use for him. Go figure.
Wilson's quip about not needing him makes sense, given that quarterback Curtis Painter is getting the start, and no one really expects the Colts to do much in the passing game. Wilson also made an interesting comment in response to a Colts fan about Gonzalez's future with the team. He indicated he didn't think Anthony Gonzalez would be back with the Colts in 2012, "no matter what."
Gonzalez was drafted in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Since then, he's been a massive disappointment and hasn't been able to stay healthy, playing just 4 games since playing all 16 games in 2008. Gonzalez has played one game this season, but has yet to notch anything on the stat sheet.
Hank Williams, Jr. will not be inquiring about your readiness for Monday Night Football tonight after ESPN decided to pull the country music star's traditional opening sequence, the result of controversial comments Williams made this morning about Pres. Barack Obama.
During an interview with FOX News' "Fox & Friends" morning show (embedded below), Williams was asked if he had any favorites in the GOP presidential race. Williams replied that he did not, and then proceeded to criticize last June's highly publicized "golf summit" between Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker John Boehner and Ohio governor John Kasich.
Williams, a Republican who helped campaign for Bush-Cheney in 2000 and McCain-Palin in 2008, called the golf game "one of the biggest political mistakes ever." When asked to elaborate, Williams said, "That turned a lot of people off. You know, watching, you know, it just didn't go over." He then stated, "It would be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu, OK?," adding that Obama and Biden are "the enemy."
Not surprisingly, ESPN has decided to distance itself from Williams. The company released the following statement Monday evening:
"While Hank Williams, Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football. We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight's telecast."
It's not yet clear how long ESPN will refrain from showcasing the country music icon, who has been featured Monday Night Football's opening sequence for 23 seasons. Video of Williams' interview appears below:
Curtis Painter has been no one's idea of a good NFL quarterback since being a sixth-round pick out of Purdue in the 2009 draft. Until this year, he had only made 28 pass attempts and was generally seen as nothing more than roster filler by most observers of the Indianapolis Colts.
That Painter has even hung around long enough to become the de facto starting quarterback is a bit of an ongoing frustration for the folks at Stampede Blue. But that doesn't mean they are rooting for him to fail in some kind of "I told you so" schadenfreude:
However, just like with Kerry Collins (another guy I root for because he's a good person who works like a dog to win), I'm rooting for Curtis because it would make me feel good if he got a little success. I like seeing good people do well, and I'll admit that I enjoy seeing assh*les look incompetent for the assh*le decisions they make. Thus, I'm rooting for Curtis tonight because A) It will be good for him and the Colts team, and B) it will 'stick it' to the redheaded troll currently running this franchise who, after giving his first round draft pick in 1995 $14 million, basically told Curtis to screw off.
In case that doesn't make it clear, Stampede Blue is not very happy with some of Bill Polian. Love for a team can make you do some funny things, though.
For more on the Colts' quarterback situation, be sure to check out Stampede Blue.
The Colts head into Tampa Bay Monday night at 0-3 with one of the worst teams in the entire NFL. But the Bucs haven't won on Monday night since 2003. Can Tampa Bay take control? All content comes courtesy of SB Nation's odds partners at OddsShark.com.
Monday Night Football features a Colts team in a heap trouble without Peyton Manning, while the Buccaneers are looking to build on last week's win against division rival Atlanta.
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