Earlier today, we brought you the news that Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne was undergoing an MRI today on his elbow following an injury yesterday. Colts fans are holding their collective breaths as we await an update on the star receiver, and tonight a report came out from RTV6's Mike Chappell that, while Reggie's injury isn't "serious," he very well could miss a game or two.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>I've been told <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/colts?src=hash">#colts</a> Reggie Wayne's elbow injury isn't too serious, but good chance he misses a game or two. <a href="https://twitter.com/rtv6">@rtv6</a></p>— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) <a href="https://twitter.com/mchappell51/status/524363655400284160">October 21, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
A source with knowledge of the situation said that while the injury to Wayne's left elbow doesn't appear to be serious, it could force him to miss a game or two. Coach Chuck Pagano didn't reveal the results of a magnetic resonance imaging test on Wayne's elbow during his Monday press conference.
If there's one person to believe on Colts news, it's Mike. There's no reason to assume that this report isn't true - and going off of that, if it is true I think that we have to keep in mind that it could have been much worse. Especially after seeing that injury during the game yesterday, it looked concerning. When Reggie had two bad drops and looked like a shell of himself, it was clear that he was hurting and that was concerning. While he said after the game that he was "good," Chuck Pagano didn't give much confidence or answers today in his press conference, which was concerning to some. While missing a game or two would hurt the Colts offense, it could be considered good news in the grand scheme of things.
If indeed Reggie will miss a game or two, my guess would be that there would be serious contemplation toward holding him out for two games, as after this week's game against the Steelers and the following Monday's game against the Giants, the Colts have their bye week. That would give Reggie plenty of time to recover and allow him to hopefully be back full strength. If Chappell's report is true about Reggie (and I totally believe it), I'd hold him out until after the bye. The last thing you'd want to do is rush him back.
In his absence, other guys would need to step up. Exactly one year ago today (October 20), Reggie tore his ACL and was lost for the season. That was the turning point for a Colts team that had looked like Super Bowl contenders and then, after the Reggie injury, went through a rough stretch in all aspects. Just today I wrote about how the Colts look like Super Bowl contenders, and while it's huge that Reggie's injury isn't considered serious, the Colts will need to find a way to play without him - thankfully for what will likely only be a week or two.
T.Y. Hilton is a clear number one receiver and has been playing like such. He's just one yard away from the league lead in receiving yards (711), is tied for fourth in the league in receptions (47), is also tied for fourth in 20+ yard receptions (10), and is tied for first in the league in receiving first downs (35). Reggie has also been having a good season (despite a bad day on Sunday, in large part due to the injury I'm sure), catching 38 passes for 434 yards and a touchdown. Those two lead the team in receiving yards, and after them are two tight ends (Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener) and two running backs (Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson).
The team's third wide receiver, Hakeem Nicks, is seventh on the team in receiving yards. He has caught 17 passes for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns. On that note, however, he is tied for the third most targets on the team. He has been much more like the Nicks of the past two years than the Nicks of a few years ago (when he was among the best in the league) and his timing with Andrew Luck has been noticeably off. Any missed time for Reggie Wayne would mean increased time and opportunities for Nicks, and it'd be as good of a time as any to step up and play well.
Nicks won't be the only one seeing increased opportunities if Reggie is out, however. Rookie Donte Moncrief has seen his snaps continue to rise (even seeing more than Nicks this past Sunday) and he has shown some positives on the field. He brings something that none of the other receivers but T.Y. bring, and that's a real ability to stretch the field, and Colts fans have already been clamoring for more of Moncrief with the #FeedMoncrief campaign. And indeed, the more I watch Nicks play the more I want to see Moncrief more.
Ultimately, however, missed time for Reggie Wayne would be more opportunities for both Hakeem Nicks and Donte Moncrief. While that's a better replacement plan than the Colts had last year (DHB, anyone?), it's still good news that it sounds like Reggie should be back soon.
Again, Mike Chappell is reporting that Reggie Wayne's elbow injury isn't serious but that he might miss a game or two. Chap is usually right, but we must repeat that this is just a report right now. With an off day for the players tomorrow, we might not find out anything definitively until Wednesday.