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Taylor will wear brace on Monday night


Fred Taylor was full speed for practice today, though another torrential downpour threatened that practice early this afternoon.

"I'm just going to go out there and pretend it never happened," Taylor said of the left knee he sprained on Aug. 11 and has kept him out of action since.

"I woke up feeling good, so I'm ready to give it a shot. I think I'll be at my best," Taylor added.

The star running back will wear a brace to protect his left knee. Taylor said he will probably wear the brace for at least a couple of games, but he added that "it's not a factor," and that playing on artificial turf this Monday night in Indianapolis will be to his advantage because the traction should help stabilize his knee.

"(The Colts) have great talent, we have great talent. Like most games, it'll probably come down to our offensive line against their defensive line, and our defensive line against their offensive line," offensive tackle Tony Boselli said.

"We're excited to have (Taylor) back, but it's still up to our offensive line to open some holes," Boselli said.

Taylor's return would complete the head-to-head confrontation between the Colts' big three offensive stars (Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and Edgerrin James), vs. the Jaguars' big three (Mark Brunell, Jimmy Smith and Taylor).

"I've got (Taylor) in the backfield, so I'm ready to go. I know they can't gang up on me," Smith said of Monday night's game.

The Brunell-Manning matchup is the feature attraction. "To be so successful this early says a lot about him. It looks like he's going to be a good quarterback for a long time," Brunell said of Manning.

Coach Tom Coughlin cited "poise in the noise" as a key factor to the Jaguars' success in the RCA Dome. "The crowd is very well-educated. They know when to (make noise)," Coughlin said. "You have a team that doesn't expect to lose at home."

The Colts were 7-1 at home in the regular season last year, but have lost their last two games in the RCA Dome. The Jaguars are 5-0 on Monday Night Football, whereas the Colts haven't hosted a Monday night game since 1997.

Coughlin's day was obviously brightened by Taylor's return, but the coach found himself having to defend comments he made Monday about the nearly 30,000 no-shows at Sunday's home-opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.

"The question was asked of me, 'Was I disappointed?' and I gave an honest answer. I would be less than honest if I didn't respond to a direct question with a direct answer. I'm very comfortable with what I said," Coughlin said.

Meanwhile, Mike Hollis' back surgery Monday has been termed successful, and Hollis is expected to return to action this season, probably in November. "This is a tough guy," Coughlin said of his veteran kicker, who will be replaced for the second consecutive game by second-year kickoff specialist Steve Lindsey.

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