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Remember Bob Sanders? Deion Branch does

09.18.11 at 1:57 pm ET
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FOXBORO — One of the biggest nemeses of the Patriots in the 2000s was Colts strong safety Bob Sanders. No one in football was better as a safety in run support than Sanders, whom many of the Patriots considered a linebacker in the secondary.

But Sanders had trouble staying on the field in seven seasons in Indianapolis, especially in his last three.

In Sept. 2008, Sanders missed over a month with a high ankle sprain, suffered in the Colts’ second game of the season against the Minnesota Vikings. Sanders would be replaced by second-year safety Melvin Bullitt.

In 2009, Sanders started two games before being placed on injured reserve on Nov. 6 with an arm injury. He recorded six tackles and one interception in his two games that year.

In 2010, Sanders left the season opener with a torn biceps tendon he tried and tried but on Dec. 8, he was placed on injured reserve, which ended his season. In February, Sanders was released by the Colts after only playing nine games since the start of 2008.

In a team statement he said, “I always will consider myself a Colt. I want to thank the fans also for their great support. They played a big part in making my seven years with the team very rewarding.”

Now, Sanders has new life with the San Diego Chargers, who signed him in the offseason to a one-year, $2 million deal. And after three solo tackles and three assists last week against the Vikings, it appears he’s back to normal. Just ask Deion Branch, the receiver who will be going up against Sanders, free safety Eric Weddle and corners Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason.

“The guy looks good,” Branch said. “It doesn’t look like he missed “X” amount of games, I promise you that. It definitely doesn’t look like he missed all of last year. The guy looks real good. Eric Weddle looks great and the two corners have always been pretty good.”

All four will be in action this afternoon against a Patriots passing attack that hung up 517 yards, four touchdowns and 38 points against the Dolphins six days ago.

Read More: Bob Sanders, Deion Branch, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots
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