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Without Reggie Wayne, Colts receivers will “have to raise their level of play”

Posted Oct 23, 2013

Intro: The last time Reggie Wayne missed an NFL game, only two of the six receivers currently on the Colts roster were older than 13 years old. A look into the receiver group without the six-time Pro Bowler.



INDIANAPOLIS—Point, blank you cannot replace Reggie Wayne.

Chuck Pagano said on Monday that this isn’t your typical “next man up” scenario for the Colts.

The other Colts receivers are “going to have to raise their level of play” in replacing a player that was the second most targeted (194 targets) receiver in the NFL last year.

Wayne’s 38 catches for 503 receiving yards in 2013 lead the Colts.

The 1,006 career receptions speak for itself and now it’s up to a collective effort out of the receiver group to carry Wayne’s torch.

Here’s a look at the current Colts receivers and how their roles might change in Wayne’s absence:

Darrius Heyward-Bey

            -Career Stats: 158 receptions for 2,261 yards and 12 touchdowns

            -2013 Stats: 18 receptions for 190 yards and 1 touchdown

            -Analysis: Now the veteran of the receiving corps on the field, DHB’s numbers might expand more than anyone else in the group. DHB brings the balance of a bigger receiver with elite speed and has shown an ability to pile up yards after the catch. He played perhaps his best game of the year on Sunday and can impact the game in multiple ways once the ball is in his hands. DHB has talked about wanting to experience the playoffs and now, in his fifth year in the NFL, he has a chance to achieve that goal while seeing his targets increase over the final nine games.

T.Y. Hilton


            -Career Stats: 77 receptions for 1,273 yards and 9 touchdowns

            -2013 Stats: 27 receptions for 412 yards and 2 touchdowns

            -Analysis: Hilton is the second most targeted receiver on the team (54, Wayne has 58). More targets will continue to come his way and that should lead to more consistency in his yardage numbers in 2013. Hilton has had two 100-yard receiving games this season but he has been held to less then 50 yards in each of the other five contests. In all likelihood, more attention will come Hilton’s way from opposing defenses, especially on third downs. Hilton impacting the game with his punt return ability is something that the Colts offense would welcome with another offensive weapon out for the year.

 

LaVon Brazill

            
-Career Stats: 11 receptions for 186 yards and 1 touchdowns

             -2013 Stats: No receptions

             -Analysis: Questions about Brazill have been frequent the last few days. He has now played two games in 2013. Brazill played seven offensive snaps on Sunday in his most extensive offensive action of the season. He has not been targeted yet but he showed flashes last season with noteworthy catches against the Lions and Ravens. Brazill has similar big play ability to that of Hilton and could be the X-factor of this receiving corps for the rest of the season. His locker resides right next to that of Wayne and it was No. 87 who called Brazill the fastest of the group during the 2012 training camp.

David Reed

            -Career Stats: 5 receptions for 66 yards and 0 touchdowns

            -2013 Stats: No receptions

             -Analysis: Reed was the Colts kick returner for a majority of the first half of the season but hasn’t seen any receiving targets. Pagano mentioned Reed and Brazill during his Monday press conference as players that need to step up without Wayne. It remains to be seen what Reed can give the Colts from a receiving standpoint but he definitely keeps the speed prevalent with the position group.

Griff Whalen


            -Career Stats: 2 receptions for 28 yards

            -2013 Stats: 2 receptions for 28 yards

             -Analysis: Whalen was a highlight during training camp and certainly knows the offense very well after playing at Stanford. He played in the first three games this season (inactive for Week Four) before moving over to the practice squad the last three weeks. Wide receivers coach Charlie Williams acknowledged Whalen as a guy that will now be counted on.

Da’Rick Rogers


            -Career Stats (No receptions)

             -2013 Stats (No receptions)

             -Analysis: Rogers has been on the Colts practice squad for every week this season, besides Week Three in which he was on the 53-man roster, so should have a good grasp of the offense if called upon.


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