Found October 23, 2013 on NFL Injury Report:
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#87 has been in the NFL for 13 years, and that number is again proving to be unlucky, as Indianapolis Colts’ wide receiver Reggie Wayne will miss the remainder of the 2013 season with a torn ACL. Before that, the long-time veteran was friends with his current locker room leader, Colts’ Head Coach Chuck Pagano. Pagano and Wayne have been close since Wayne’s college days at the University of Miami, and the two have a mutual respect for each other that goes beyond the football field. Even with Wayne out for the rest of the season, Pagano knows that his most coveted wide out will remain close with the team. Pagano held back very little when describing his feelings for Wayne, opening up his entire book to Michael David Smith : “I think everybody has heard by now and knows that Reggie suffered an ACL tear. He’ll be lost for the season,” Pagano said. “We hate to lose anybody, but this one stings. See, you just don’t replace guys like 87. Again, we hate to lose anybody, but he’ll be back. I know how he’s wired. I know what his DNA is. I know how he is as a man. Everybody is going to say no way, but after the conversation I just had with him, just wait and see. So, we’ll all put on the gloves for Reggie and we’ll help him get through this and get him back.” Wayne has been a role model for the Colts, and by making his decision to stay a Colt versus following Peyton Manning to Denver, there is no questioning his loyalty. Pagano cites Wayne as a team role model and someone to emulate when seeking NFL success. Reggie is undoubtedly a team leader, and Pagano looks forward to Wayne continuing to provide valuable insight from the sidelines. While the masses deem Wayne’s ACL injury as career ending, Pagano has rebuked that school of thought, and sticks firm to the idea of his nearly 35-year old receiver returning to the playing field in 2014. He is “certain” that he will coach Wayne again, and for a receiver that has the mental aptitude to outlast a loss of explosion, I wouldn’t bet against it. The support system is strong in Indianapolis, and for the football fan, let’s hope it brings back one of the league’s best and brightest in Wayne. It is merely postulation, but with the Josh Gordon trade rumors filling the mill, will the Colts look to add the young and talented receiver? Wayne would be an excellent mentor for Gordon, and the trade seems like a good fit. For now, we’ll keep our eyes peeled and avoid speculation.
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