Reggie Wayne was painful to watch at times this year. He literally looked like he hurt when he ran at times. One time this season he caught a long pass from Andrew Luck and he should have scored. Instead of turning the extra gear on and getting in the end zone, he got caught from behind and tackled at the one. It was then that I knew Reggie’s days were truly numbered. That we were watching the decline of one of the great ones.
It’s even a sadder conclusion that it turns out Wayne wanted to come back to the Colts. The Colts had to tell him “no”.
Here’s what the Colts GM had to say about the hard decision, a pure football decision:
“Everyone knows the greatness and history associated with number 87,” Grigson said in a statement released by the team. “He truly is one of a small handful of players who really define the Colts as an organization. He was already a Hall of Famer in the making when Chuck (Pagano) and I arrived in Indianapolis in 2012, but no one has contributed more, on the field and in this building, to our turnaround, our continued growth, and our overall success since then.
“Reggie was the catalyst that sparked and ignited the team during our comeback against Green Bay in 2012. His gritty performance that day and that entire challenging season infused us all with the belief we could overcome any obstacle. His dedication and the example he set are second to none. We wish him nothing but the best in whatever new endeavor he pursues.”
Wayne had 13 catches for 212 yards that day and the game winning touchdown when they beat Green Bay in Indianapolis – the game I call the ‘CHUCKSTRONG’ game.
Jim Irsay on Wayne:
“Reggie is one of the greatest men to ever wear the horseshoe, and we have been blessed to watch him play for the past 14 years. When he first took the field with us in 2001, we knew this day would eventually arrive. That reality is one of the things that makes pro football such a tough business. We feel this decision is in the best interests of the team and for Reggie as it will allow him to seek a better opportunity for playing time elsewhere if he so chooses. Reggie is beloved by the Colts organization and our fans and he will always be a part of the Colts family. I look forward to the day in the near future when our great number 87 enters the Colts Ring of Honor and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
Fourteen years, and one of the greatest pro football players I’ve ever seen is just a chapter in the history books. It sucks seeing the great ones get old and go. I had hoped for one more year somehow; that would allow Wayne to go out on his own terms as a Colts player. Thanks for all the wonderful Sunday memories. Can’t wait to see this guy get into the Hall of Fame.