Former Colts greats Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis took another step toward Canton on Wednesday, with the Pro Football Hall of Fame announcing them among 26 semifinalists for its modern era Class of 2022.
It's the third consecutive year Wayne, who had 14,345 yards on 1,070 receptions with 82 touchdowns for the Colts from 2001-2014, has been named a semifinalist; he was named a finalist for the classes of 2020 and 2021.
For what it's worth, Wayne's longtime Colts teammate Marvin Harrison was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his third year as a finalist.
Wayne is 10th all-time in receiving yards and receptions.
Wayne was named to six Pro Bowls and was a first-team AP All-Pro in 2010. He had eight seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards, had 100 or more catches four times and scored 10 or more touchdowns three times. From 2004-2010, he averaged 92 receptions, 1,264 yards and eight touchdowns per season; he played in all 16 regular season games every season from 2002-2012.
And Wayne shined in the playoffs, too – he ranks second all time in postseason receptions (93) and fourth in postseason receiving yards (1,254). Wayne was inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor in 2018.
His streak of 189 consecutive games played is the third-longest for a wide receiver in NFL history, and his 211 total games played are a Colts franchise record.
"The thing that that jumps out at me is just the consistency that he did it week in and week out, which is hard to do at that position," longtime Colts assistant Clyde Christensen said on this week's episode of the Colts Official Podcast. "I always tell people the story that for the first eight years I think I was in Indianapolis he never missed a snap of practice training camp or a game."
Mathis was named a semifinalist in his first year eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the announcement came just four days before his induction into the Colts Ring of Honor. Mathis is one of seven first-year eligible players to be named a semifinalist this year.
Mathis is the Colts' all-time leader in sacks (123) and is the NFL's all-time leader in forced fumbles (52) and strip-sacks (47). A five-time Pro Bowler and 2013 First-Team AP All-Pro, Mathis played his entire career (2003-2016) with the Colts.
"If you wanted to construct the ideal football player in the laboratory it would be Robert Mathis," former Colts general manager Bill Polian said. "His work ethic and his desire to play and his desire to be the best and his consistency was well above ideal. And if you didn't have the pleasure of seeing him play, go watch the tape. You're looking at a rare, rare, rare football player."