Colts Sign Simeon Rice

The Indianapolis Colts have claimed defensive end Simeon Rice off waivers, expecting him to fill in for injured Pro Bowler Dwight Freeney.

The announcement was made by team president Bill Polian on his weekly radio show Monday night and later posted on the team's Web site.

Rice played one season for Colts coach Tony Dungy in Tampa Bay. He has 121 career sacks, second among all active players to Michael Strahan of the New York Giants.

The Colts (7-2) are uncertain how much time Freeney will miss. Coach Tony Dungy said earlier Monday that he had not yet met with the doctors and that he did not anticipate it to be season-ending.

But Polian said Freeney could miss four or more games because of a left foot injury that caused him to be carted into the locker room during Sunday night's 23-21 loss at San Diego. The Colts have not yet released details of the injury.

``We anticipate that Dwight will miss some significant amount of time,'' Polian said on the show.

The Colts signed Freeney in July to a six-year deal, paying an average of $12 million. He has 32 tackles and 3{ sacks on the season.

The 33-year-old Rice, who was released on Friday, was deactivated for two games in October and has six tackles and five assists on the season.

He signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Broncos on Sept. 3, picking Denver over St. Louis in part because of the opportunity to get more playing time after starter Ebenezer Ekuban suffered a season-ending Achilles' injury in training camp.

Polian compared the addition of Rice, who was waived recently by Denver, to the midseason addition of defensive tackle Anthony McFarland last year when the Colts won the Super Bowl.

The Colts traded a draft pick to Tampa Bay for McFarland, who played a significant role in improving the Colts' run defense during their Super Bowl run.

McFarland suffered a season-ending patella tendon injury in training camp and was placed on injured reserve in training camp.

Rice, a 12-year veteran, has 121 career sacks, second only to Michael Strahan among active players. He started the first eight games last year in Tampa Bay before being sidelined by a shoulder injury. He was released by the Buccaneers over the summer after they signed first-round draft pick Gaines Adams and Rice refused a sizable pay cut.

``Simeon obviously knows our system,'' Polian said. ``He has played for Tony before. He fits like a glove.''