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Will Corey Simon return?

It's a question we asked all season, and it wasn't answered until October 5th, 2006 when the Colts announced that Corey Simon would be placed on the non-football-related injury list, ending his 2006 season. Simon entered training camp in 2006 having lost 15 pounds and looking great. Immediately, he got hurt. No one knew the extent of the injury, where it was, and no one knew why it wasn't healing. What we found out on October 5th was Corey had an undisclosed illness that prevented him from playing. Polyarthritis is what people are guessing he has, but no one knows for sure. The Colts organization is not allowed to disclose such information.

Because Simon was placed on  the non-football-related injury list and not the injured reserved (IR) list, the Colts did not have to pay Simon the rest of his base salary for 2006. Simon and his union filed a grievance against the Colts trying to recover this money, but they don't have a leg to stand on. Simon's illness is what is prevented him from playing. The illness is non-football-related. Therefore, the Colts are not responsible to pay Simon in 2006. Simon has already pocketed $11 million in guaranteed money when the Colts signed him in 2005.

Despite the grievance, Simon has stayed with the team. He frequented the sidelines during the season, coaching and helping his defensive line mates. He was present at the AFC Championship Game against New England (according to Pro Football Weekly), celebrating with teammates. He did not go with the team to the Super Bowl.

Montae Reagor answering questions about how his orbital bone is healing at Super Bowl media day.

After a rollercoaster season of questions regarding his health, the acquisition of Booger McFarland, and the fact that the Colts won the Super Bowl without him, the big question is still will Corey Simon play again?

The Indianapolis player who seemed to know the most about Simon was fellow defensive tackle Montae Reagor, who is in Miami [for the Super Bowl] but will not play Sunday against the Chicago Bears because he is recovering from facial surgery. "Me and Corey are real good friends," Reagor said. "I talked to him about a week ago. He's doing fine. He's determined to recover from his injuries, and he's doing good. He's recovered from his arthritis, and he's in good spirits. Corey is always a positive guy. "Of course he wants to be here. He played in one of these when he was with Philly, so I know it's killing him not to be here. If I wouldn't have come, it would have killed me."

Simon is still under contract for 2007. So, right now, he is still on the Colts roster and is expected to perform all of the necessary tasks required during the off-season: weight training, mini-camps, etc. Unless the Colts cut him, and take a big cap hit, Simon will be a Colt next season. The Colt that seems to know Simon the best, Montae Reagor, is himself battling to return from injury. If you've seen Reagor's face, the car accident really messed him up. Breaking your orbital bone disfigures you for a period of time. It can heal, and signs show Montae is healing nicely, but right now he looks like Frankenstein.

The Colts have a lot of cap money dedicated to their d-line. As it stands now, the Colts will have Booger McFarland, Corey Simon, Montae Reagor, Raheem Brock, Darrell Reid, and Dan Klecko for their DT rotations. If this stands, the Colts might move Brock back to DE and cut someone like Bo Schobel.

If both Simon and Reagor come back healthy in 2007, the Colts defense is scary good and the chances of repeating look very, very good.