Confirmed and crushing: tests showed Colts WR Reggie Wayne has a torn ACL. His season and streak of 189 straight games is over.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 21, 2013
Last night's win over the Denver Broncos was MASSIVELY HUGE for the Colts. Unfortunately, in the win they also suffered an injury that is MASSIVELY HUGE.
According to various media reports, including ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne suffered a torn ACL last night.
Wayne was injured in the fourth quarter when on a third down play Pep Hamilton made a great call and went for the pass to put the game away when everyone expected run. Reggie Wayne was as wide open as you can possibly get and Andrew Luck just underthrew him. As he went to the ground trying to bring in the low pass, Reggie's knee buckled and he fell to the turf clutching it. Lucas Oil Stadium fell silent as the training staff ran onto the field, and several players (including Luck) gathered around. Upon realizing that it was serious (there were several devastated gasps and groans when they showed the replay), the fans broke out in the famous "REGGIE! REGGIE! REGGIE!" chant, and a pretty loud one too.
As Reggie walked gingerly off the field, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning - a very close friend of Wayne's - walked out a few yards onto the field to applaud, as people do when a player walks off after an injury (classy move, Peyton. Then again, wouldn't expect anything less.)
Reggie walked off the field to the sidelines noticeably upset, and the doctor's reaction after looking at him on the sidelines was troubling. When Reggie Wayne walked slowly to the locker room with tears in his eyes, it was the strongest sign yet that it was serious.
It sounds like it was indeed. He has an MRI today and after that we'll find out for sure from the Colts, but according to reports the Colts fear and believe that it is a torn ACL.
That would end Reggie's season and his consecutive start streak at 189 games, the longest among active players - in fact, Reggie hasn't missed a game due to injury since 2001.
This hurts. First of all, it hurts because you won't find many players more likable than Reggie Wayne. He is a fan favorite and I really, really feel for him. This also hurts for Luck. It is obvious how much Luck respects Reggie and values his play and his friendship. Luck said last night that, "I put a lot of blame on myself for missing him. It didn't seem like anyone was within a square mile of him." He was noticeably upset.
It also hurts the Colts as a team a ton. Reggie Wayne was far and away the best receiving option for the Colts. He was the best and the most consistent, catching at least 3 passes in 71 straight games - and counting. On the field, this is a devastating loss for the Colts. Off the field, this is a devastating loss for the Colts. Reggie was the team leader and the one who brought the passion to the team. Everybody respects him tremendously. He's their leader. He'll still be there and leading, but obviously it's different.
Some have speculated about this being a career ending injury. Colts fans are scared because of how quickly Marvin Harrison dropped off after suffering a knee injury. It's too early to tell what impact this has on Reggie's career, but I would feel confident saying that he's going to be back and that he won't go out this way. But again, it's a legitimate question.
Where do the Colts go from here? Well, this means that T.Y. Hilton and Darrius Heyward-Bey are the two starting receivers. And it means they they have very little depth at the position. Very little. It means that Coby Fleener's importance just increased significantly. And it means that they likely will look at bringing in a receiver. With their bye week this week, they have time to try out receivers. At this time of year, you typically don't find an answer through a trade, but with Ryan Grigson it's more than just a suggestion or an option - it's a real possibility.
We'll find out for sure later on after his MRI. But reports this morning confirm what we feared last night: that receiver Reggie Wayne is done for the year with a torn ACL. Coming into the season, I said that Andrew Luck was the only player the Colts couldn't afford to lose - in other words the only injury that would cause the Colts to crumble. But Reggie Wayne was the closest to Luck (along with Robert Mathis) in terms of devastating injuries. And now, it appears that he is done for the year.