It’s almost a guarantee that one day Reggie Wayne’s number “87” will hang in the rafters of the Indianapolis Colts’ stadium. He is one of the franchise’s best players and all looked lost that he would end his career with them this off-season. The team decided to go with a “youth movement” by cutting future Hall-of-Famer Peyton Manning and drafting Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Most assumed Reggie would leave and head for a team ready to compete right now.
But Reggie chose commitment to the franchise that drafted him and resigned with the Colts. It’s a decision neither party has regretted.
Alongside rookie quarterback Luck, Reggie and the Colts delivered head coach Chuck Pagano an emotional victory Sunday against the heavily favored Green Bay Packers. Coach Pagano was diagnosed earlier this week with leukemia and took an indefinite leave of absence from his new team. Adorned with orange gloves (the color of leukemia awareness), Reggie caught 13 passes for a career-best 212 yards and the game-winning touchdown.
In fact, Reggie is off to the best start of his 12-year career with 36 catches for 506 yards and two touchdowns. He leads the NFL with 126.5 yards per game. Amazing considering who has been throwing him footballs for 11 of the past 12 seasons. A workaholic by nature (“Reggie don’t take no days off,” said former teammate Edgerrin James), Reggie’s game hasn’t slipped in the slightest at the age of 33.
Instead of leaving the Colts or resigning to “pack it in” on a rebuilding season, Reggie is setting the tone for teammates and as he says, “I’m going to use this opportunity and run with it.”
And run with it he has. Let’s see if any defensive backs will catch him this year. At this rate, it’s very unlikely.