INDIANAPOLIS – As Colts practice reached the latter stages last week, Reggie Wayne knew the boxing gloves he "used" at Training Camp would not be needed.
The elbow injury Wayne had suffered against Cincinnati wasn't going to recover in time for the Pittsburgh game.
The risk wasn't worth it.
Wayne wouldn't have to step into the ring to try and coax Chuck Pagano into letting him play.
But don't think for a second that Wayne's injury was going to keep him out for too long.
After being a full participant in practice the last two days, Wayne will be back on the field when the Colts take the spotlight of Monday Night Football this week.
Besides the obvious requisite of actually catching the football, Wayne feels good about the work he put in Friday and Saturday.
"Just being able to block, going out there and punching and being able to block. That tells me that I'm headed on the right track," Wayne said.
"The main thing was just making sure I get my strength back. That was what the whole thing about last week was. In the Cincinnati game, when I dropped those two passes, I had no strength and I couldn't stop the ball and the ball just coming through my hands. I had to gain some strength back."
Wayne's first day of practice in two weeks came on Friday when the Colts were busy installing their third-down package.
Over his 14 seasons in the NFL, Wayne has moved the chains with numerous third-down catches.
Safe to say his presence was welcomed by offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton.
"It makes all the difference," Hamilton says of having Wayne back.
"We just finished our third-down practice and having Reggie Wayne available makes it a lot easier for the quarterback. Find Reggie and find a way to get him the ball."
On the Colts final injury report of the week, Wayne is listed as probable with the receiver calling his diagnosis a "sprained elbow."
Wayne was asked on Saturday if he expects to be limited in any way against the Giants.
"If I'm going out there, I'm expecting to play. If I'm going to be limited, I might as well continue to get treatment," Wayne offered.
"I feel good. I had a couple days of practice where I felt pretty good, caught the ball pretty well. Hopefully I'll wake up (Sunday) morning and there's no setbacks and go from there."
The return of Wayne comes at a critical time for the Colts.
The leaders of the AFC South suffered their first loss in over a month last week and starting with the Giants, the Colts will play three straight games against teams coming off bye weeks.
Before the Colts head into their own bye, some business needs to be taken care of at MetLife Stadium.
"This Monday night couldn't get here fast enough. I think I speak for the team on that," Wayne says.
"After the game last week, we would have played when the plane landed. We knew last week was tough. We didn't go out there and show everybody what Colts football was about. Luckily for us, a primetime game is coming up. We've got an opportunity to turn things around. Hopefully we can get everything that we want to get done, then go into the bye week with smiles instead of frowns."
A look at the Colts on the road to Pittsburgh.