CHARLOTTE -- The undefeated Indianapolis Colts will face the Carolina Panthers here Sunday without wide receiver Marvin Harrison, as the 12-year veteran was downgraded to "out" by the team on Saturday afternoon while he continues to battle a bruised left knee.
Indianapolis will also be without starting weakside linebacker Freddy Keiaho, who is suffering from the effects of a concussion.
Harrison, 35, injured his knee in a Sept. 30 game against Denver, missed the following week, but then started in last Monday night's victory at Jacksonville, catching three passes for 16 yards. The eight-time Pro Bowl receiver told coach Tony Dungy after the victory over the Jaguars that his knee, which had limited him in practice much of the week, was no worse than before the game.
In the Jacksonville game, Harrison was on a strict play-count, and participated in about 40 snaps, far below his norm. Had he been able to play Sunday, it's likely that Harrison would have been on a similar play-count.
But Harrison was unable to practice this week, and the optimism that Dungy expressed early in the week turned to doubt by Friday, when the team announced that the availability of the star wide receiver would be a game-time decision. The Colts host New England next week, but Dungy insisted that would have no bearing on whether Harrison played at Carolina.
The fourth-leading receiver in NFL history, Harrison has 1,042 catches for 13,944 yards and 123 touchdowns in 175 regular-season appearances. In five games in 2007, he has registered 20 receptions for 247 yards and one touchdown.
Fifth-year veteran Aaron Moorehead is the likely replacement for Harrison in the lineup.
Keiaho, a second-year veteran who is in his first season as a starter, sustained a concussion in the Sept. 30 contest, but returned to action on Monday night. But he experienced some effects from the concussion during the week and did not practice.
For the season, Keiaho has 29 tackles, one interception and one pass defensed.
The absence of Keiaho probably will force the Colts to switch starting strongside linebacker Tyjuan Hagler, who was elevated to the No. 1 unit last week, to the weakside. If that is the case, Rocky Boiman, who had been demoted in favor of Hagler last week, probably will start at the strongside spot.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.