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Stampede Blue Tweetbag: Talking Reggie Wayne, Offensive Line, and More

Stampede Blue's Josh Wilson answers questions about the Colts submitted via twitter.

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Answering your twitter questions about the Colts:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="">@Coltsfanwilson</a> What is the full story on Reggie&#39;s health?</p>&mdash; JimSavage (@boileralum1) <a href="">December 9, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

I got a variation of this question quite a bit, so I'll explain what we know here to start the tweet bag off.  Reggie Wayne had perhaps his worst career game in his franchise record-tying 208th game.  He caught just one pass for five yards on eight targets, seeing his consecutive games with at least three catches streak end at 82 and in addition dropped three passes.  It was absolutely uncharacteristic of Reggie and it was clear once again that the elbow injury he suffered earlier in the year was still bothering him.  After the game, however, head coach Chuck Pagano noted that the receiver has been battling through a "knee, elbow, torn tri-," seeming to allude to a torn triceps.  On Monday, he confirmed that Reggie does have the injury and is fighting through it.  It certainly helps explain Wayne's struggles to catch the football on Sunday, though not making it any easier to watch from a Colts' fan's point of view.  After he talked candidly about wanting to spend more time with his family and the decision that is looming, plus the injuries he's dealing through, it's fair to wonder whether retirement is near for Reggie Wayne.  It won't be before he sets a Colts' franchise record with his 209th career game played this upcoming Sunday, however, breaking a current tie with Peyton Manning.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="">@Coltsfanwilson</a> Should Harrison and Thornton get their starting jobs back when they&#39;re healthy?</p>&mdash; Steven Pearlstein (@SPearlstein2) <a href="">December 9, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

This is another question I got quite a bit.  And this is one of those where I'll tell you both what I think should happen and what I think will happen, because they're different.  I don't think there was any doubt on Sunday that Jonotthan Harrison was bad on Sunday.  Part of it was because of the Browns' blitzing the interior of the line, sure, but I wonder whether part of that had to do with the fact that they knew Harrison was in there and the weak link.  As the game went on (and A.Q. Shipley came in), not only did the Colts get better play out of their center position but the Browns also played things differently.  Put quite simply, A.Q. Shipley clearly outplayed Jonotthan Harrison and it wasn't the first time either.  As for guard, Joe Reitz had been doing a good job at the spot for the last game and a half, but he was injured during the game and Khaled Holmes came in.  Holmes played well and was impressive, and I'm starting to wonder whether Hugh Thornton would actually be the third best option at right guard when everyone is healthy, behind both Reitz and Holmes.  Of course, we need to see more from both of them (especially Holmes), but it's certainly noticeable that Holmes looked good on Sunday and that Reitz also looked better than Thornton.  Now, will Shipley, Holmes, or both continue to start?  I think that really only happens if Harrison and Thornton aren't healthy.  "I don't even know why we're going back there," head coach Chuck Pagano said on Monday when asked about the center position and the decision earlier in the year to bench Shipley.  Pagano seems pretty set on continuing to play Harrison and Thornton (when they're healthy), and so that likely means that the Colts will continue to roll without their best five out there.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="">@Coltsfanwilson</a> what&#39;s the over/under on how many times the announcers drool over JJ Watt on Sunday?</p>&mdash; Tyler Kees (@FWTykees) <a href="">December 9, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

No idea, but it's got to be quite a bit.  And for good reason.  J.J. Watt really might be the best player in the NFL.  He's incredible.  And if you're a neutral observer getting to watch him play, it's just fun.  Of course, as a Colts fan, it won't be fun this Sunday watching him play against Indy.  But he's a special player - just like Colts' quarterback Andrew Luck.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="">@Coltsfanwilson</a> Duron Carter in my mind .. Does the lure of #12 bring him here. .. Or could the WR. corps be viewed as too deep to excel</p>&mdash; Grant Irmiter (@grirmiter) <a href="">December 9, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

Good question, because I know a lot of Colts fans are wondering about Duron Carter and the possibility of the Colts signing him.  Indy is reportedly "very interested" in Carter, and likewise another report says that Carter would prefer to play for the Colts.  So, to answer your question, it sounds like the lure of Luck would outweigh the receiver position (which, actually, could only return T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief next year, depending on how things play out).  Here's what I wrote about this topic last week in response to Bleacher Report's Matt Miller's report of Carter wanting to play for Indy:

It makes perfect sense for Carter to want to play with the Colts.  If he was signed, he would be playing with Andrew Luck, who is on pace to throw for 5,000 yards and 45 touchdowns this year in just his third NFL season and who is already among the top quarterbacks in the league.  If you're a receiver, why wouldn't you want to play with Luck?  Furthermore, Carter wouldn't have to have all the pressure on him right away.  While for some players they'd want to go somewhere where they could step in right away, if Carter signed with the Colts in February (the earliest he's actually able to sign with a team) then he would join some other good receiving weapons.  Next year, it seems that T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief will be playing on the outside and, if Reggie Wayne chooses to return, he'd be in the slot.  That's in addition to two good receiving tight ends in Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener.  Carter would likely get opportunities, but he would likely play a role similar to that of Moncrief this year.  In other words, getting some opportunities but not being counted on to be a huge part of the offense right away.  That seems like a great fit for Carter, as he'd be joining one of the NFL's best offenses with one of the NFL's best quarterbacks.  It makes perfect sense.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="">@Coltsfanwilson</a> with wayne and nicks struggling, do u see colts calling up whalen from PS? Like his versatility in gettin open better</p>&mdash; Derick Geise (@DJgeise) <a href="">December 9, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

This is certainly something that needs to be considered.  We know that Hakeem Nicks just isn't getting it done, and the Colts really shouldn't play him that much.  Reggie Wayne has been struggling, but it's not quite time to sit him.  He can still be a valuable player in the Colts' offense.  But with his struggles and with Nicks' season-long struggles, the Colts might want to consider making a move to activate Griff Whalen from the practice squad.  If they're going to make a move at receiver, that would likely be it, but I think they'd be more inclined to just shift the targets to other guys (such as T.Y. Hitlon, Donte Moncrief, Dwayne Allen, Coby Fleener, etc.).  But yeah, I think if Reggie's struggles continue the Colts need to at least consider activating Whalen as depth.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="">@Coltsfanwilson</a> If Reggie Wayne goes on IR, who do you see replacing him on the roster? How close is Nixon to returning to game days?</p>&mdash; Aaron Raleigh (@AaronRaleigh) <a href="">December 9, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

Well, let's put it this way: at this point, I'd be very surprised if Reggie Wayne ends up on injured reserve.  Of course, this news about a torn triceps was certainly previously unknown so there could be other things that we don't know yet, but at this point he's played through five games with it and I don't expect him to end up on season-ending IR.  Just consider this: I think that Reggie might really decide to retire after the season, and if that is the case and he has an indication of it now, I don't think he wants to go out on injured reserve.  So, while things could change, I really don't expect him to wind up on IR - at least not yet.

As for the second part of your question, regarding Xavier Nixon, Chuck Pagano expects to have him back at practice this week.  So if indeed that is the case, that's some good injury news.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="">@Coltsfanwilson</a> Thoughts on Laron Landry since his return. Is no news good news?!?</p>&mdash; Dan Schulte (@showltee) <a href="">December 9, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

Good question.  I actually think LaRon Landry has been playing better since his return, in part because he has been playing a different role.  He's no longer the "starter" for the Colts, and I think that has caused Greg Manusky to stop using him so much as one of the Colts' interchangeable safeties but rather utilizing Landry's strengths, and he seems to be playing more in the box - which is where he is best at.  I think that Landry has actually done a solid job in this role.  While I wouldn't go back to him as the starting safety over Sergio Brown, I'm not against the Colts continuing to give him snaps if they set him up for success, as they seem to have been doing a better job at.