Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne knows a thing or two about playing with Peyton Manning. From the year Wayne entered the league as a first round draft pick in 2001 through Manning's final season under center for the Colts (in 2010), Wayne developed a chemistry on and off the field with Manning. With the Colts getting ready to face their former quarterback this Sunday, Wayne was of course asked to reminisce about memories of playing with Peyton - though the veteran receiver wouldn't have any of it.
"Nah, man," Reggie answered when asked if there was one particular memory with Manning that stuck out. "I could tell you about Andrew Luck, that sticks out. [Peyton's] on the other team right now. I'll holler at him later. Right now, it's all about 12."
It's clear that the team has fully transitioned into the new era of Colts football, and even Reggie Wayne won't dive too deep into the story lines that abound this week. For the receiver, it's all about winning. But would there be any added meaning to a win over Manning's Broncos? "It'll mean the same," Reggie responded. "It'll mean a W for the Colts, nothing more and nothing less. My momma could be on that team, I've got to beat her too. We've got to win, so that's how we look at it."
Wayne said that it's not really that strange for him to see Manning playing for the opposing team anymore. "It's probably more strange seeing all these Papa John's commercials," he joked, before adding that, "I've gotten used to it. I've had so many friends come and go and play for other teams. As a professional football player, that's part of the game. That happens, happens pretty frequently. You get used to it, man. When you sign your name on that line on that contract, at any point in time, anything can happen. Things can change.
"That was something nobody ever thought would happen, but it happened. You still suit up and play no matter what's at stake. You go out there and you play. You've still got each other's phone numbers. You can still text message, call and talk to him later."
Wayne will break one of his friend's records when he takes the field this Sunday, as he's currently tied with Manning and Jeff Saturday for the most playoff games in Colts history. When he plays this weekend, he'll stand alone. Already this season Wayne passed Manning's franchise records for most games played and most wins he was a part of. He's also closing in on the record books, as he's only 62 yards and four touchdowns away from jumping to second place in NFL postseason history in each category - and he's already second in receptions.
Of course, in the back of many people's minds this week is another narrative besides the Manning versus Colts one: could it be Reggie Wayne's last game as a Colt? With a loss the Colts' season would end, and the talk about Reggie's uncertain future would begin. Will he come back for another year or will he retire? Those are questions that we don't have answers to right now, but they're still there in the minds of many Colts fans.
But one thing is for certain: Reggie Wayne isn't getting tired of this. Not by a long shot. "I'm enjoying this, man," he said. "I'm loving it. Second round of the playoffs? I'm enjoying every bit of it."