Sunday's win was a bitter sweet one. Due to the loss of stud receiver and locker room leader Reggie Wayne for the season, beating the Broncos came at a costly price. It's not easy for any team to continue the same level of success offensively after losing a player of Wayne's caliber. Still, this loss provides yet another opportunity for someone on this team to be the "next man up." Could it be DHB? LaVon Brazill? How about Griff Whalen? You can bet Grigson is on the horn right now sending out feelers to other GMs as I write this. That said, I have a feeling that this could go one or two ways. For starters, I think this latest setback will create an opportunity to feature DHB in ways we haven't seen all year. Heyward Bey had his best outing last Sunday night in catching 4 passes for 44 yards and a touchdown and also adding a 30-yard rush on an end around. Could this be a sign of things to come? Last Sunday night was definitely a step in that direction. I've always liked DHB's physical abilities on the field. Now that he has a top 5 QB to work with for the 1st time in his career hopefully he will finally reach his true potential.
As far as trade scenarios go, I wouldn't be surprised to see if Grigs makes a run at Miles Austin. With the emergence of standout rookie Terrence Williams and slot receiver gem Cole Beasley, the Cowboys are loaded at the WR position and may be looking to unload Austin. He's been phased out of the offense and used sparingly since the emergence of Williams and Beasley. Austin would fit in very well with our offense due to not only his route running and speed, but also his down field blocking in the run game. Austin still has deep speed and at 6-2, 216 lbs is a bigger target than T.Y. Hilton. The arrival of Austin would allow Hilton to play the slot and would virtually cause a matchup nightmare for opponents on a weekly basis. A WR of his caliber would do wonders for the running game. For starters, if the Colts went to a more spread out offense, I believe it would open the running lanes for Trent Richardson. Richardson has not been as effective as he could be because the Colts have not disguised how they are going to run him when he's in the game. Whenever Pep puts T-Rich in, he runs him out of traditional sets that leave nothing to the imagination for defenses to figure out. Teams are still putting 8-9 men in the box whenever Richardson is on the field and the Colts have yet to exploit that. With Wayne out for the season the time is now for Richardson to become a focal point of this offense.
Although the Colts have been impressive in winning games against the elite teams of the league, for them to reach the NFL's biggest stage the running game will need to be better than it has been thus far. That means putting Trent Richardson in better positions to be successful than he has been previously. The loss of Reggie Wayne doesn't have to be handicap for the rest of this season. Like the Pacers losing Granger for the year and finding a gem in the emergence of Paul George, the Colts can do the same with one or two of the pieces they already have. For some, adversity brings out the "quit." For others, it brings out the "fight." Time will tell which one will surface for the Colts in the face of this latest setback.