It was last year against the Denver Broncos that Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne went down with a torn ACL. It's fitting, then, that his first full game back will be against the Denver Broncos to open up the 2014 season.
Reggie worked incredibly hard at the end of last season and then all offseason to get back to where he is now, and there was never any doubt in his mind or in the mind of anyone associated with the Colts that he would be back. "Even at that age, a lot of people doubted, but not him of course," Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said Friday. "Certainly I was very, very confident just knowing him that he'd be back."
"Rehabbing two, three times a day, you don't have time for doubt," Reggie agreed. "If you doubt it, there's no sense in you getting up at 5 o'clock in the morning and rehabbing."
Reggie is back, and he's tired of the questions about his knee. He's ready to play and prove it. "I can finally go out there and show everybody that I'm ready," Reggie said, "that I'm healed, and hopefully these ACL questions will kind of be put to bed a little bit. So let's knock on wood and make sure everything stays the course and go out there and play a good football game."
He played in one preseason game this year, the third one against the Saints, though he played just two drives. He participated in training camp, however, and looks great. You can't tell that he's coming off of a torn ACL. Reggie looks like Reggie. Still, the Colts have been very careful with him so far, so will the receiver be on a pitch count this Sunday?
"None at all," Pagano confirmed. "I'm full throttle," Reggie said.
"It's all you can ask for," Reggie said about this offense finally all taking the field together. "Like I said, I sat back last year and I cheered and cheered, and it was a bunch of ‘what ifs.' Even in the preseason, you sit back and you're on the sideline, and you're still saying, ‘What if? What if?' Now it's come to life. It's an opportunity for us to go out there and display our talents as a receiving corps. We can show everybody what we're about, not only just the receivers, we're loaded at tight end. The whole offense as far as the skill positions, we're loaded.
"Hopefully everybody's on the same page, as we should be. Going into each game we should have the mind frame of, ‘Defenses, pick your poison.' If you focus on one guy, we've got a couple other guys that can hurt you pretty bad. It's something that we should be excited about and hopefully we go out there and do our thing."
It'll be great seeing Reggie Wayne back out there on the field, and for really the first time, this Colts offense should be ready to go with all their weapons. Both of those are reasons for Colts fans to be excited.