Yes, that's the truth. Don't like it? Tough! I offer no apologies for pointing out the obvious.
Fleener was drafted No. 34 overall in 2012, ahead of cornerback Janoris Jenkins, outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw, and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. Fleener's 2012 season was injury-plagued and uneventful. His 2013 preseason was vomit-inducing.
On Sunday, with fellow second-year tight end Dwayne Allen out with a hip injury, it was Fleener's job to step up... and oh boy did he ever!
The former Stanford tight end caught 4 passes for 69 yards, including a very big 3-yard touchdown in the second quarter that cut Miami's lead 14-10, following the extra point. Fleener also had another touchdown reception in the third quarter, but an illegal procedure penalty called on Reggie Wayne wiped out the score. The Colts settled for a 38-yard Adam Vinatieri field goal.
Our writers (me in particular) have dogged Fleener consistently because he's a high pick who hasn't lived up to his draft stock. Yesterday was a huge game for him, and he delivered. Had the Colts won, Fleener would have been a hero.
Even in defeat, we acknowledge impressive play.
The key now for Fleener is replicating this kind of production on a more consistent basis. It seems doubtful that Allen will be back for the Colts' Week Three match-up in San Francisco against the 49ers. If Indianapolis is to have any chance in that game, Fleener must deliver once again.