The 2010 season ended for Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle John Gill when the team placed him on reserve/non-football illness Tuesday, two days after he was found intoxicated and passed out in a ditch at about 4 a.m. in the city's Westside area.
According to police, Gill was unable to stand and was arrested for public intoxication, a charge that was later dropped. A police spokesperson said Gill was involved in a similar incident on Sept. 15, 2009.
Before Tuesday's move, Colts president Bill Polian said, "He's got a problem clearly that unfortunately many Americans are familiar with, either in their family or the workplace. So, the No. 1 priority for him is to get treatment and we're in that process right now.
"Football is not a priority. It's not even a consideration. He's going into treatment as quickly as possible. That's being arranged with the appropriate people at the league level and we'll move on from there. We hope obviously for John's sake and his family's sake that everything in the end will work out, but his focus now needs to be treatment and getting himself squared away."
From Northwestern, the 6-foot-3, 302-pound Gill entered the NFL in 2009 as an undrafted free agent with the Detroit Lions. He was released Aug. 14 and signed three days later by the Colts.
After being waived by the Colts Sept. 5 in the cutdown to 53 players, Gill was signed to the practice squad where he spent most of the season until being added to the active roster on Dec. 26. He played the final two games of the regular season and had five tackles in a Dec. 27 game against the Jets.
Said Polian, "We had hoped this would be a good year for him, but it hasn't turned out that way."
Having Sanders back allows the Colts to rotate Melvin Bullitt and Antoine Bethea in and out of the lineup with the 2007 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. And with Gonzalez around, one of last year's breakout stars -- Pierre Garcon -- has been getting work both as an outside receiver and in the slot.
In fact, Gonzo can play both roles -- outside receiver and slot -- although his preference is probably to work outside more. Second-year receiver Austin Collie is primarily a slot receiver, but could slide outside depending on the formation.
"There are a lot of (receivers) that can make a lot of big plays at any point. There are a lot of good threats and everyone has a different tangible that they bring. Especially the young guys with the experience last year, it's only going to make them better," tight end Dallas Clark said earlier in the week.
"It is an exciting group, and you have to go out there and prove yourself. On paper they look good, but like anything else you have to go out and prove it, and those guys are ready to do that."
Clark is also glad to see Sanders -- his former Iowa teammate -- back on the practice field.
"It's beautiful. That guy has gone through a lot of things. And it is just great to see him keep fighting through them and the adversities of his injuries here and there," he said.
"It's just great to see him keep battling and trying to fighting to get back. When he is on the field he is something special. It is great to have him back."
The Colts have 24 scheduled practices over 18 days at Anderson (Ind.) University. Remaining evening workouts (7:30 p.m.) are set for Aug. 11 and Aug. 17. Special teams only sessions are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 9 and Aug. 12. A controlled scrimmages has been tentatively set for Saturday, Aug. 14 (9:30 a.m.). Indianapolis is slated to break camp after a 9:30 a.m. practice on Wednesday, Aug. 18. The remainder of the team's preseason work will be done at the Colts' west side Indianapolis complex.
Copyright (C) 2010 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.