By Tom James
TERRE HAUTE — Tony Dungy let the cat out of the bag Tuesday morning.
The Indianapolis Colts coach confirmed that quarterback Peyton Manning — who is recovering from surgery to alleviate a bursa sac infection in his left knee — had arrived in Terre Haute for training camp. The details of when he got there and where he is at, though, remain cloaked in secrecy.
“Peyton is doing fine. He’s following the doctor’s orders, which is what we can ask for. And so far he’s progressing normally and doing well,” Dungy said after the Colts’ morning practice. “He’s here. He’s immobilized. We don’t want a lot of people trying to see him. And that’s why we’re not saying exactly where he is. But he’s here in town.”
Manning underwent a surgical procedure on the knee July 14 and has been undergoing treatment at his home in Indianapolis for the past two weeks. He is expected to be sidelined for another two to four weeks, although he may be cleared to watch practice at some point.
“There’s not a time frame on that. We were just told kind of four to six weeks from the original onset [of the infection]. We’re kind of watching [rookie tight end] Tom Santi’s progress. He’s a little bit ahead of [Manning],” he said.
“So our big thing is we’re not going to rush him out here to try and get him back for week three or week four of the preseason. When he’s ready to go, he’ll be out [to begin practice]. And hopefully he does get some preseason time in. But we’re looking at the long haul.”
Santi underwent a similar surgery for a bursa sac infection in his knee in early July and is continuing to recover.
• Pitcock done? — Although Colts’ officials have opted not to discuss the reasons behind the absence of defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock from training camp, Internet reports continue to offer the possibility that the former Ohio State product has decided to call it quits after only one season in the NFL.
Dungy said Tuesday that he had nothing new to report concerning Pitcock’s status with the team. The Piqua, Ohio native, a third-round draft pick by Indianapolis last year, played in nine games as rookie and had 30 total tackles. He missed the early portion of the 2007 season due to a hamstring injury.
If Pitcock does not return to the Colts, the team’s interior defensive line rotation for the rest of training camp will center on second-year tackles Ed Johnson and Keyunta Dawson, veterans Darrell Reid and Joe Bradley along with rookies Eric Foster and Colin Ferrell.
• Sitting out — There were no new injuries to report after Tuesday’s two practices.
Safety Melvin Bullitt (sprained right thumb) did not take part in workouts. Bullitt, who was hurt in practice Saturday morning, has his right arm immobilized during the recovery period. Dungy remains hopeful that Bullitt will be able to return to the practice field sometime next week.
Also sitting out were the Colts’ six players on the team’s physically unable to perform list — Manning, Santi, safety Bob Sanders (shoulder), strong-side linebacker Tyjuan Hagler (pectoral muscle), offensive guard Ryan Lilja (knee), and defensive end Dwight Freeney (foot).
Dungy said Tuesday that he doesn’t expect any of those on the PUP list to make the trip to Ohio for Sunday evening’s NFL Hall of Fame preseason game with Washington.
“I don’t think any of our PUP guy are going to go to Canton. That’s my understanding right now,” the Colts coach said.
Wide receiver Marvin Harrison, who has been limited to one practice per day since the start of training camp, should get his first extensive amount of playing time since he injured his left knee against Denver last year. Freeney would like to give it a go against the Redskins, but it probably won’t happen.
“Marvin is full go, as is everybody that’s practicing,” Dungy said. “Dwight is lobbying to be put on that full-go unit. I watched him run the [tackling] bags [Tuesday] and he did very well. Bob Sanders did well. So it’s just a matter of time for those guys. But right now, we’re thinking that our six PUP guys are the guys that are going to be out.”
• Session moves into starting lineup — With Hagler sidelined until late September or early October, second-year outside linebacker Clint Session has move in at strong-side linebacker and will probably start against the Redskins this week.
Although he had limited playing time as a rookie last season, Session made an impression nevertheless. He had five tackles and a pair of interceptions in a regular-season start at San Diego.
“Clint is really an explosive player. He plays with a lot of energy. He’s not always in exact right place [on a given play], but he can make things happen. As he’s been here longer, he’s really zeroing in on his time as trying to be a more consistent player,” Dungy said.
“But he’s capable of making big plays and big hits and he’s some explosive power that we like. So we’re looking forward to seeing him [play]. We’ve moved him over to the strong-side now that Tyjuan is going to be out for awhile and he’s adapting pretty well.”
Session, who backed up Freddy Keiaho at weak-side linebacker last season, understands that he still has a lot of work to do, but he’s ready for his chance to see more playing time against Washington. Moving back to strong-side linebacker — a position that he played at the University of Pittsburgh — has made the transition during training camp a little easier. So far, anyway.
“Linebacker is linebacker, no matter where it is,” he said Tuesday. “This is a good opportunity. I’m going to make the best of it. We’ll see how things play out. I’m just going to do what I can do as long as I can do it, you know?”
• Madden due in town today — NFL media just keeps coming to Rose-Hulman.
John Madden, one half of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” broadcasting crew along with Al Michaels, is scheduled to visit the Colts’ training camp site today. Madden is expected to watch this morning’s 8:30 a.m. workout.
NBC will carry Sunday night’s Hall of Fame game. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.
A reminder for fans attending training camp — A heads-ups for those fans who plan to attend any of the Colts’ upcoming training camp practices.
Most of the workouts take place on the practice fields located east of the tennis courts and across the bridge. Only a handful of sessions, such as today’s second practice (slated to begin around 7:30 p.m.), are scheduled for Cook Stadium.
Practices usually begin around 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. unless noted otherwise. Workouts last about two hours unless it’s an afternoon special teams practice or a Saturday morning getaway practice.
Those sessions usually last about an hour. Also, the autograph tent near the tennis courts is only open after the morning practices.