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Faulk’s Return Has Colts Excited

Associated Press

The best news for the Indianapolis Colts heading into the regular season is that Marshall Faulk appears healthy and ready to show the skills that sent him to the Pro Bowl his first two NFL seasons.

The big plays were missing last year after Faulk injured a toe in the second game of the season, and gained just 587 yards on a career-low 3.0 yards per carry.

Until Thursday night’s 16-3 exhibition victory over Detroit, Faulk had been used sparingly, with only 16 carries for 48 yards and five catches for 32 yards.

He played past the first quarter for the first time against Detroit, rushing for 35 yards on 11 carries and catching five passes for 41. More important than the numbers was that Faulk proved he’s ready for the season.

“I feel great, especially after last year,” he said. “I just want to feel the best that I can. I just want to go in, and feel like nothing is hurting me. I don’t want to have to worry about anything. And if I do (feel pain), deal with it, play through it.”

Coach Lindy Infante said a healthy Faulk is a key to the Colts’ success.

“I’m a lot better coach with healthy running backs that are running for 1,000 yards than I am without them. He gave us that,” Infante said. “He’s the guy we need in there to make big plays.”

Westbrook expected to apologize

After Thursday night’s 28-7 loss to Miami, the Washington Redskins can concentrate on the two really big items left on their August agenda: the regular-season opener and Michael Westbrook’s return to practice.

The Westbrook saga takes center stage. The third-year receiver, who pummeled teammate Stephen Davis in a bloody attack during Tuesday’s practice, will address a team meeting before practice today.

“He’s going to speak to the team, the general manager, the owner and the coach and I imagine he’ll apologize to everyone concerned,” Westbrook’s agent, Stephen Zucker said. “He is remorseful about it. It shouldn’t have happened, but it happened.”

Zucker, who said Westbrook and Davis have had problems getting along for a year, said he wasn’t sure whether the two would have a private meeting Saturday. Davis had his eye swollen shut, but is expected to make a full recovery. Davis also has not ruled out legal action.

Also at issue is whether Westbrook will play in the Aug. 31 regular-season opener at Carolina. Westbrook has already been bumped from the starting lineup, and Saturday’s meeting could determine his future with the team.

Around the league

Center Jesse Sapolu, out of football since his February release by the 49ers following heart surgery, was re-signed to fill in for injured starter Chris Dalman. Sapolu, who played 14 years for the 49ers, including 10 as a starter, signed a one-year deal for the veteran minimum of $275,000. He is expected to start at center for the first two or three regular-season games while Dalman recovers from torn ligaments in his left knee.

The Philadelphia Eagles acquired guard Sean Love from the New York Jets for past considerations. In order to make room for the Penn State graduate, the Eagles placed quarterback Koy Detmer on the injured reserve list with a knee injury.

Defensive end Renaldo Turnbull, a first-round draft choice in 1990 and a Pro Bowl player in 1993, was released by the New Orleans Saints. Turnbull went to the Pro Bowl in 1993 when, as a linebacker, he had 13 sacks and five forced fumbles.

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