MIAMI — Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney still hopes to play in the Super Bowl despite a torn ligament in his right ankle.
"Hopefully, towards the end of the week it starts to get better," Freeney said at Tuesday's media day. "The decision will come later on in the week. It's kind of early now."
An All-Pro player, Freeney wore a pair of flip-flops to the morning session. His injured ankle was unwrapped.
"Very discouraging" was how he described his inability to practice for Sunday's NFL title game against the New Orleans Saints.
"The competitor in me says they'll never stop me from being on the field," he said with a laugh before adding: "There's some pain there definitely, with throwing everything at it, all types of techniques, to find the best thing to get this thing as good as possible. You name it, I've probably done it."
Freeney injured the ankle in the AFC championship game against the New York Jets and said the chances of working out later this week weren't good.
He's the only starter on either team who might miss the game because of injury.
Freeney said he's enlisted the help of chiropractors, slept in an oxygen chamber, used ice, regular therapy and anything else team doctors prescribed, to try to get the ankle to heal.
Despite everything, his teammates still believe Freeney will be on the field Sunday.
Defensive lineman Raheem Brock, who would replace Freeney in the lineup, took it a step further.
"I think he'll be back and playing third downs. And I think he'll be effective, until I see something different," Brock said.
Freeney, the former league sacks champ, led the Colts with 13 1/2 sacks and is considered the team's defensive leader.