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AFC notes

By Wire services
Published January 17, 2004

COLTS: Wide receiver Brandon Stokley practiced and plans to make the trip to New England.

But coach Tony Dungy said Stokley would leave the team if he needs to be with his hospitalized infant son.

"He is planning on making the trip," Dungy said. "He is planning on playing, as long as (month-old son) Cameron doesn't have any downturns."

Stokley missed practice Wednesday and Thursday morning after Cameron was hospitalized with an undisclosed illness. He practiced for about the first hour of Thursday afternoon's two-hour workout and practiced Friday with the rest of the team.

Dungy said Stokley is doing as well as can be expected.

Stokley has emerged as one of the team's top receivers, catching a team-high six touchdowns in the past five games.

If he does not play against the Patriots, Troy Walters and undrafted rookie Aaron Moorehead likely will fill in.

Dungy also said defensive back Nick Harper was the only player who didn't practice.

PATRIOTS: Less than two weeks ago, Peyton Manning was known as a quarterback who couldn't win a big game. Now he has morphed into the poster boy for the NFL playoffs. Everything is Peyton this, Peyton that, and at least one member of the Patriots defense is tired of the hype.

Safety Rodney Harrison, known for his punishing hits and blunt comments, perceives the adulation for Manning as a slight against New England.

"No one is giving us a chance," Harrison said. "Peyton is everybody's favorite. Just look at the TV; he's everywhere. People are saying, "There's no way in the world they can stop him.'

"You have to take that personally. We have a lot of prideful players on our defense and we're not going to be intimidated by the fact that he's in the media and everyone is hyping him up."

The Chiefs seemed awestruck by Manning and paid for it when he put up 304 yards and three touchdowns in the 38-31 win last weekend.

"That was ridiculous," Harrison said. "It's embarrassing when a team is just throwing the ball on you like that. That's when pride comes in. You can't let a team dictate what they want to do. You have to be aggressive and lay down the law."

[Last modified January 17, 2004, 01:32:39]


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