This weekend, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Indianapolis Colts Anthony Gonzalez 're-tweaked' his injured ankle, which he hurt Week One against the Houston Texans. Today, Gonzalez is refuting that claim. In fact, he's not only refuting it, he sounds downright pissed about it.
From the Indianapolis Star's Phil Wilson, via Twitter:
#Colts WR Anthony Gonzalez disputes report that he re-tweaked high right ankle sprain.
#Colts Gonzo: "I saw that little report. I have no idea what that is. No tweaking. No nothing. I have no idea where that came from."
More #Colts Gonzo: "Look, the guy didn't make it up. I'm sure somebody told him. Whoever it is, (he) told him a lie. Whatever."
After the jump, we talk about Gonzo's reaction.
Gonzalez's reaction doesn't discredit Schefter's report even though he states, quite clearly, that whoever told Schefter about the 're-tweaked ankle injury' was lying. That's pretty bold on Gonzo's part. But, for me, it doesn't discredit Schefter's report.
Well, because Gonzalez has all in incentive in the world to hide a re-tweaked ankle injury. That's why.
This game, against the Texans, is really Gonzo's last chance to prove he's worth a damn to this Colts club. He absolutely, positively MUST play in this game, and play well. He knows that. He's already lost his starting job to Pierre Garcon, and Austin Collie is most certainly the slot receiver for this team now and for the foreseeable future. Both Collie and Garcon are younger than Gonzo, and do not seem to have his penchant for landing on the injury list.
Because of this, it's fairly obvious to everyone with two eyes that this is Gonzo's last year with the Colts. If he is to prove he can still play in this league and, maybe, latch on to another team next year, it's in this Texans game that he can start to rebuild his reputation.
However, if he is hurt, if he has re-injured himself even though no one has tackled him in seven weeks, teams will be less inclined next year to give Gonzo a chance to start again in this league. Remember, Gonzo is not a strong special teams player, and back-up WRs on a (current) 53 man roster absolutely must play special teams. Otherwise, they are just sitting on the sidelines each Sunday, collecting game checks.
The key for Gonzalez is that he be ready Monday night against the Texans, period. He must be in uniform and he absolutely must play well. This is, quite frankly, the biggest game of his professional life. He needs to deliver. He knows this. Thus, naturally, he is not going to take kindly to news of him re-injuring his ankle, regardless of whether that news is accurate or not.
Now, on a personal note, I absolutely hope that Schefter's report was B.S. and that Gonzo did not re-tweak his ankle. However, for the better part of two years, we've seen so many reports of Gonzo re-injuring something that's it hard not to believe Schefter. Just this past off-season, Gonzo injured his hamstring back during mini-camp. This was after spending much of 2009 on the injury list with a knee ailment. In Week One against the Texans, after battling back from said knee and hamstring injuries, Gonzo promptly injured his ankle and has not seen the field since.
Injures have defined Gonzo's career, fairly or not.
I heart wants to believe him. My head says otherwise. Both will be satisfied if Gonzo goes out there and plays well against the Texans. That's really the bottom line.