NFL Team Report - Indianapolis Colts - INSIDE SLANT
Reggie Wayne's 2013 season officially came to an end Tuesday with the Colts placing the wide receiver on injured reserve.
Wayne suffered a torn ACL in his knee during Sunday night's victory against Denver. Cornerback Jalil Brown was signed to fill his roster spot and help fortify a secondary that was banged up against the Broncos.
Cornerbacks Darius Butler (calf), Greg Toler (groin) and Josh Gordy (groin) are all considered day-to-day, as is safety Delano Howell (neck).
Brown was a fourth-round pick by Kansas City in 2011 who has played in 29 career NFL games.
The Colts also waived tight end Dominique Jones from the active roster and released fullback Robert Hughes from the practice squad.
Wayne, 34, will undergo surgery in the near future, with the goal of returning in 2014.
"We hate to lose anybody, but this one stings," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said Monday. "You just don't replace guys like (No.) 87. And again we hate to lose anybody. But he'll be back.
"I know how he's wired. And I know what his DNA is, know how he is as a man. Everybody's going to say, 'No way (to a return to a team next season).' But after the conversation I had with him, just wait and see. So we'll put on the gloves for Reggie and we'll help him get through this. We'll get him back."
After he undergoes surgery, Wayne will still remain a valuable member of the Colts organization this season.
"He's going to have to have something done, surgically, but what I told him is that whether it's on a stretcher, a wheelchair, we have to carry him in and out, he'll be there (with the team) every step of the way," Pagano said.
"He's a pro through and through. I told those young (receivers) to get in his hip pocket and follow him. Do exactly what he does on a daily basis. Do you stick around (in the NFL) for a long time? Want to be productive? You want to write your own legacy? You want to be a guy in the NFL and not an also-ran? Then just do exactly what Reggie does. From a leadership standpoint, mentoring standpoint, it's off the charts."
While talking about Wayne's injury, the second-year head coach who has known Wayne since their days together at the University of Miami became emotional.
"We've known each other for a long, long time. The way he is, the first thing out of his mouth is that he feels as if he let his teammates down because he can't be there now," Pagano said.
"That's how unselfish this guy is. He could give a hoot about the numbers, all that stuff. He just wants to play and help us win a championship. That's what he's dealing with right now. I don't feel any worse than the rest of the guys in the locker room and from the owner on down about what happened to him. It's a travesty."
Despite the injury, the Colts coach has no doubts that Wayne will return to the team next season ready to resume his career.
"Just look in a man's eye. And when he tells you he's going to do something. I've known him for a long time, watched him work over the years. When he says 'I'll be back,' I trust he'll be back," Pagano said.
NFL Team Report - Indianapolis Colts - NOTES, QUOTES
--The Colts coaches aren't unhappy from what they've seen out of RB Trent Richardson, who was added to the roster earlier this season in a trade with the Cleveland Browns. Richardson's stats haven't been earth shattering, but that's alright.
"Yeah, he's making good progress, doing a better job with some of the things without the ball in his hands, in terms of his pass protection was much better (against Denver). And we keep consistently running the football and winning games, so he's playing well and we just keep moving forward," running backs coach David Walker said. "Most guys have the advantage of OTAs that start in May. He's been here for 27 days or whatever he's been here. So he's doing fine, he's doing fine."
--WRs Darius Heyward-Bey and LaVon Brazill are expected to get first dibs on picking up the playing lost due to the season-ending knee injury suffered by veteran WR Reggie Wayne. "Each guy brings something different; the main thing is just fitting in and being in the right spot," receivers coach Charlie Williams said. "Just making it comfortable for our quarterback, for Andrew (Luck), to find them when it's time to go to them."
--S LaRon Landry returned to play against the Broncos after missing the previous four games because of a high ankle sprain. His presence in the Colts' defensive secondary was immediately felt.
"Yeah, he brings a physical presence; he's got that attitude about him that kind of fires everybody up," secondary coach Mike Gillhamer said. "He's a great kid. It's been hard because he's been hurt and trying to blend in with us and what we do. He's giving a real good effort to try and do that."
--CB Darius Butler continues to impress as the Colts' nickel back. He drew the assignment of trying to cover Broncos slot WR Wes Welker last Sunday night.
"He's got great ball skills, secondary coach Mike Gillhamer said. "He's very, very smart. He really studies a lot of film and he's just got a real good intellect for being back there and understanding zone concepts. He understands route concepts. He's done a really good job of that.
"We went back and we watched the New England game last year where (Welker) kind of got us. I think Darius took it as a challenge that he could get it done and he did."
--CB Jalil Brown, formerly with Kansas City, was added to the active roster. Brown was a fourth round draft choice by the Chiefs in 2011 and was waived on Sept. 1. The Colts were hit with injuries to several cornerbacks during the Denver game Sunday night.
--TE Dominque Jones was waived from the active roster. Jones had played in six games this season, catching two passes for 34 yards. He has appeared in 10 total games for the Colts over the last two seasons.
--FB Robert Hughes was released from the Colts' practice squad. Hughes played in one game this season and five games with Indianapolis last year. He had one pass reception this year for six yards.
--Heading into the Denver game, the Colts were 2-7 against teams that were 6-0 or better. The franchise had wins over the Los Angeles Rams in 1968 and the Miami Dolphins in 1992.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I have never looked at it as the guy who replaced Peyton (Manning). I just looked at it as a chance to play football for a great team." -- QB Andrew Luck.
NFL Team Report - Indianapolis Colts - STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
--OLB Andy Studebaker saw his first action of the season with the Colts defense in the win over Denver. Signed primarily to help beef up the special teams' coverage units, he stepped in for injured OLB Cam Johnson.
--S Antoine Bethea was forced to play cornerback at times in the Colts' win over Denver. Due to injuries to three of the team's other cornerbacks, Bethea worked as a nickel back on occasion in the second half.
--OLB Robert Mathis sacked Broncos QB Peyton Manning twice to give him 11.5 sacks this season. He has tied his previous seasonal career high, which was set in 2005 and 2008.
--OG Mike McGlynn moved back to center during the Broncos game when starter Samson Satele left with knee issues. McGlynn has played center for three games so far this season.
--WR Reggie Wayne was placed on injured reserve after sustaining a torn ACL in his right knee. There are also reports, which have not been confirmed by team officials, that Wayne also suffered a torn meniscus in the knee.
--CB Greg Toler (groin) underwent an MRI on Monday but the results of the test have not been announced.
--CB Josh Gordy (groin) also had an MRI done. Gordy's results have not been released by team officials.
--ILB Mario Harvey (hamstring) had an MRI after he was hurt in the Denver game. Harvey's prognosis has not been announced.
--C Samson Satele (knee) got his MRI results back, which were negative. Satele is expected to be able to play against Houston in two weeks.
--S Delano Howell (neck) was hurt against the Broncos. There has been no update on his injury but he is expected to be available for the Colts' next game.
--OLB Cam Johnson (ankle) left the Denver game and did not return. The injury is not considered to be serious. His availability for the Colts' next game has yet to be determined.
REPORT CARD VS. BRONCOS:
PASSING OFFENSE: B-plus -- QB Andrew Luck had an efficient outing against Denver as he completed 21-of-38 passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns. Luck was sacked twice and was not intercepted. He ended the game with a 99.5 passer rating. Luck completed passes to seven different receivers.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B-minus -- As a team, the Colts rushed 31 times for 121 yards, led by RB Trent Richardson's 37 yards on 14 carries. WR Darrius Heyward-Bey added 30 yards on a reverse while RB Donald Brown had 23 yards on 11 carries. Luck scrambled four times for 29 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown run.
PASS DEFENSE: B-plus -- While Broncos QB Peyton Manning completed 29-of-49 passes for 386 yards and three touchdowns, he was also sacked four times and intercepted once. Manning also fumbled once after being sacked by OLB Robert Mathis, who had a pair of sacks on the night. DT Fili Moala added a sack while DT Ricky Jean Francois and inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman each shared a sack. The Colts secondary did a pretty good job all night on the explosive Denver receiving corps, although Eric Decker and Wes Welker combined for 15 catches for 246 yards and a TD.
RUSH DEFENSE: A -- Denver ended the night with 64 yards on the ground as a team. RB Knowshon Moreno led the Broncos with 40 yards in 15 carries and had one TD. RB Ronnie Hillman added 25 yards in four carries but fumbled near the goal line late in the fourth quarter, which was recovered by Indianapolis.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A -- PK Adam Vinatieri made all three of his field-goal attempts, hitting from 27, 52 and 42 yards. P Pat McAfee averaged 47.1 yards net on nine punts and had a franchise-record six kicks downed inside the Broncos' 20-yard line. McAfee also had four touchbacks on kickoffs and made one heck of a tackle of Denver KR Trindon Holliday. The special teams coverage unit, led by FB Stanley Havili and S Sergio Brown, forced and then recovered a fumble which set up an Indianapolis score.
COACHING: A -- Anytime a defense can find a way to slow down a potent offensive attack like Denver, the coordinator should get a big pat on the back. Greg Manusky should get plenty of credit for coming up with a game plan that seemed to confound the Broncos for most of the game. Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton did a nice job of keeping the Denver defense off balance. And head coach Chuck Pagano was able to keep the Colts focused on the job at hand all last week despite the outside distractions and chatter.