Colts’ lose safety Bullitt for rest of season

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indianapolis Colts‘ already beleaguered defense took another hit Tuesday.

Team officials announced that safety Melvin Bullitt, Bob Sanders‘ replacement, will miss the rest of the season with a right shoulder injury. It’s not what the Colts needed after giving up 31 points and 174 yards rushing at Jacksonville.

But it is life in the NFL.

“There’s obviously, a lot of work to do on that side of the ball and we’ve got to get that straightened away,” Colts President Bill Polian said on his weekly radio show Monday night. “We’ve got good players there, but they’re not playing well right now.”

And now the Colts (2-2) will be short-handed, too.

Bullitt’s injury status was first reported by ESPN.com. Players and coaches were not available for comment Tuesday, their regular day off.

He is scheduled to have surgery on the injured shoulder and will be placed on injured reserve.

The former undrafted free agent had started 24 of Indy’s past 36 regular-season games, mostly in place of the oft-injured Sanders, and had become one of Indy’s most consistent tacklers. So when Sanders went down in the season opener with a torn biceps muscle in his right arm, most figured the Colts‘ wouldn’t lose much by putting Bullitt in the lineup.

He was seventh on the team this season with 13 tackles and had one of the Colts‘ three interceptions.

Now, with Bullitt out for the season and Sanders expected to miss at least two more months, the Colts‘ already-thin secondary is in dire need of help.

Veteran Jamie Silva, normally the next in line, went down with a season-ending torn ACL during the preseason, and the Colts started the season with only three safeties on the roster _ Sanders, Bullitt and two-time Pro Bowler Antoine Bethea.

Now they only have one of those three _ Bethea _ available.

Bullitt hurt his shoulder twice Sunday, the second time coming midway through the third quarter. He had already put a hefty brace on the shoulder after getting injured in the first half, the same brace he wore most of last season.

When Bullitt left, recently signed DaJuan Morgan took his place.

Morgan has solid credentials, a third-round pick by Kansas City in 2008 who was signed Sept. 15. This weekend, the former Chief will likely get a chance to start against his former team as the NFL’s last unbeaten team visits Lucas Oil Stadium.

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