INDIANAPOLIS — The Colts defense took another hit Monday when the NFL announced starting safety LaRon Landry would miss the next four games for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substance policy.
Landry will not be eligible to return until after the Colts visit Pittsburgh on Oct. 26.
Colts spokesman Avis Roper wrote in an email there would be no additional comment from the team.
Landry was not available for comment in the locker room, and the announcement wasn’t made until after coach Chuck Pagano had spoken with reporters.
Landry initially defended himself on a Twitter post that read “Sometimes things aren’t what they appear to be” before quickly deleting the comment.
The 6-foot, 226-pound former Pro Bowler spent most of the offseason working out on his own and missed the start of training camp with a groin injury.
But he started each of Indy’s first four games and went into Sunday ranked third on the team in tackles (15). Landry was credited with three more tackles in a 41-17 victory over the Titans.
Now the Colts are looking for another replacement before hosting Baltimore (3-1) this weekend.
Indy lost longtime starter Antoine Bethea to San Francisco in free agency and Bethea’s projected replacement, Delano Howell, with a neck injury in training camp. Howell is already on season-ending injured reserve.
That leaves the Colts with only four safeties on the active roster — Mike Adams, who has been starting opposite Landry; Sergio Brown, who was in the mix for the starting job in training camp; former Eagles safety Colt Anderson, who was inactive Sunday with a groin injury; and rookie Dewey McDonald, who was promoted from the practice squad Monday after backup receiver Da’Rick Rogers was released for what Pagano called “conduct detrimental” to the team.
Harbaugh dismisses reports
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Jim Harbaugh has no time for Deion Sanders, Trent Dilfer or others who want to question whether the fourth-year coach has lost his locker room or the faith of his players.
On Sunday on NFL Network, Sanders said of 49ers players: “They want him out. They’re not on the same page.”
Harbaugh on Monday responded by saying: “Personally I think that’s a bunch of crap. People say what they say.”
Analyst Dilfer offered Monday on ESPN Radio that, “I do think it’s become almost toxic.”
Harbaugh dismissed that, too, by saying, “I haven’t seen Trent or Deion around much.”
Harbaugh is in the fourth season of his original $25 million, five-year contract he signed in January 2011 when he left Stanford to become the 49ers coach. San Francisco (2-2) beat the Eagles 26-21 on Sunday.
Bills bench QB Manuel
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills benched starting quarterback EJ Manuel.
Coach Doug Marrone announced Monday that Kyle Orton will start Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions.
Manuel was the Bills’ first-round draft pick in 2013 and had started 14 games over the past two seasons.
Manuel had a season-low quarterback rating of 59.4 and threw an interception that was returned for a momentum-changing touchdown Sunday during the Bills’ 23-17 loss to Houston.
Buffalo signed Orton on August 30 to back up Manuel. Orton, a nine-year NFL veteran, spent the past two seasons in Dallas before being cut by the Cowboys in mid-July after he skipped the team’s offseason workouts amid reports that he was considering retirement.
Williams latest Carolina injury
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Panthers coach Ron Rivera said running back DeAngelo Williams is “doubtful” for this weekend’s game against the Chicago Bears, the latest setback for Carolina’s ground game.
Williams, who had just returned to the Panthers’ lineup after missing the last two games with a bad hamstring, suffered an ankle injury during the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.
The loss of Williams further hits at a Panthers roster already thin at the running back position due to injuries.
Carolina now has only two healthy running backs — undrafted rookie Darrin Reaves, who had 26 yards on 12 carries against the Ravens, and free agent Tauren Poole, who fumbled on his only carry last week.
Bridgewater better, may start
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The sprained left ankle for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is not serious, and the Minnesota Vikings are hopeful he’ll play against Green Bay.
Coach Mike Zimmer said Monday that Bridgewater was feeling “a lot better” the day after the injury. The rookie had an MRI test after the game on Sunday, and the tests showed no major damage. The Vikings face the Packers on Thursday night.
Bridgewater passed for 317 yards and a key 2-point conversion and rushed for 27 yards and a touchdown in his first NFL start. Bridgewater’s left foot rolled underneath him when he tried to cut on a run before being tackled at the 1-yard line early in the fourth quarter.
Around the league
Dallas defensive tackle Josh Brent will get to travel to London with the Cowboys later this season after the NFL amended several stipulations in his reinstatement following an intoxication manslaughter conviction. ... New York Jets fullback Tommy Bohanon broke his collarbone in the team’s 24-17 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday and his season could be in jeopardy. Coach Rex Ryan said Monday that Bohanon played the entire second half with the injury, and the fullback is seeking another medical opinion before deciding whether to have surgery. ... The Colts released receiver Da’Rick Rogers on Monday after he was inactive for all four games this season. Coach Chuck Pagano said Rogers was released for “conduct detrimental” to the team. ... The Redskins signed cornerback Richard Crawford and safety Jamarca Sanford. The Redskins made the moves Monday to bolster the defense and special teams. They replace linebacker Gabe Miller and nose tackle Robert Thomas, who were released Saturday. ... An autopsy performed a year after Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his baby’s mother and himself found the 25-year-old suffered the same kind of brain damage that has turned up in other NFL players.