INDIANAPOLIS — Devin Funchess was placed on injured reserve back on Sept. 10, but the Indianapolis Colts were optimistic that the wide receiver's fractured clavicle would heal up in time for him to make a return for the final few games of the regular season.
But more than 2 1/2 months later, even after being brought back into the fold at practice, Funchess and the Colts didn't get the results they were hoping for. Head coach Frank Reich confirmed today that Funchess will revert to the IR list for the remainder of the season.
"Late in the week last week he had a scan — a scan that can see it all — and there's just not enough healing where you would like it to be to be able to put him back in there in time," Reich told reporters after Sunday's Week 13 loss to the Tennessee Titans. "So he'll be done for the year."
Funchess was one of the Colts' primary free-agent pickups this offseason, as he brought needed size (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) and playmaking ability (21 touchdowns over his first four NFL seasons) to the team's wide receiver corps.
Those attributes were on full display in Indy's Week 1 contest on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers, as he hauled in three passes for 32 yards, none of which were bigger than his eight-yard reception on 4th and 3 from the Chargers' 49-yard line during the Colts' final game-tying drive, as he dragged cornerback Brandon Facyson about four extra yards before being brought down on the Indianapolis sideline.
But later in that drive, quarterback Jacoby Brissett, on 1st and 10 from the Chargers' 19-yard line, fired a pass deep down the left sideline for Funchess, who was in one-on-one coverage against Facyson. Funchess was able to haul in the pass in the end zone, but landed out of bounds — and directly on his left shoulder.
Funchess underwent surgery the next day, and was subsequently placed on IR.
The Colts at that time were hopeful that Funchess could be designated as one of their two return-from-IR players later in the year. He was able to take the first steps in that process on Nov. 13, when he returned to practice, setting in motion a 21-day window for the team to decide to bring Funchess back to the active roster, or revert him to IR for the rest of the year.
Two weeks into that process, however, it became clear that Funchess' clavicle just wasn't healing at a rate the team had hoped. Reich said there were no setbacks in the wide receiver's recovery.
"We were just more surprised that it didn't heal fast enough," Reich said. "I mean, when we got the results back and looked at the results, it was like, 'Wow.' The only good thing about it was it wasn't a hard decision; it wasn't a hard decision, because it wasn't even close to where it needs to be.
"It's a credit to Devin — he was doing everything possible, our doctors and trainers did everything possible," Reich continued. "Just unexplainable why it just didn't heal, why it didn't heal faster. So I know everyone did what they could to get him back as soon as we could, it just didn't heal like we thought it would."