You can sense the frustration Colts WR Anthony Gonzalez is going through. Needing to stay healthy throughout the entire preseason this year, after playing in only 3 games in the past two seasons, Gonzalez, once again, has found himself injured, and told the Indianapolis Star's Mike Chappell he's preparing for the possibility of being cut when the Colts make their final roster moves, down to 53 players:
I understand it's a realistic possibility, probably more so this year than ever before. I think (it would be) because of the injuries. My No. 1 goal coming into camp was not missing practice or a game. Obviously that hasn't happened. That's been pretty disappointing.
Effort has never been an issue with Gonzo since he was drafted 32nd overall in the 2007 draft, even up until yesterday. He's clearly not just sitting around, hoping and wishing his injured hamstring gets better:
Sunday and Monday, that meant a total of about eight hours of "manual therapy, deep-tissue work, alignment stuff," Gonzalez said. "I've been treating it pretty good, but you've got to be careful."
Chappell makes a good point saying that most likely, due to Peyton Manning's injury, we'll see the Colts keep three Quarterbacks for the first time in the Manning era, taking away one of those precious roster spots. With so many talented players on the defensive line, it'll be very difficult for the Colts to justify spending a spot on a guy who they can't trust to be healthy over one of these guys who will help sure up one of the Colts biggest weaknesses over the past few years.
Right now, then, we can only assume that three WRs will make the roster: Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, and Austin Collie. Based on the Packers game from Friday night, I think Chris Brooks has the best shot to be the #4 guy in Week 1, as he played extensively with the first unit, including catching a TD pass from Curtis Painter. There's also the possibility that Blair White will return of the PUP list any time now, but I'm thinking that may not happen before Saturday's final cuts, meaning he'll be MIA until after Week 6.
I would guess Taj Smith would be next in line, as he's a very good special teams player, and would be used sparingly on offense. The other possibility is that David Gilreath will make the team as a returner, and he could do spot duty at WR. I don't see any way they keep 6 WRs.
We all know Gonzo's ability on the field is really good, and that's never been his problem. But when you can't get on the field, all the talent in the world can't help you:
"The most important ability is availability," Caldwell said. "It's a long haul. It's a tough season. You want to try to put the best individuals in place to withstand that."
Remember how I said you can really sense the frustration Gonzalez is going through? Here's what he told Chappell:
Asked if he has received any indication from the coaching staff or management of what's to come, Gonzalez shook his head.
"No. I'm sure everyone's frustrated," he said. "But I promise you there's nobody more frustrated about this than I am.
"This is my livelihood. If it comes down and doesn't go my way, it certainly would be incredibly disappointing. But you move on."
As BBS said yesterday, I think I'll be surprised if Gonzalez makes the final 53 man roster, and I wouldn't have said that two weeks ago. If this truly is an "all-in" season for the Colts, they can't start it off short-handed.
Hat-tip to millermt