INDIANAPOLIS— When Reggie Wayne went down with an ACL injury on Oct. 20, he would soon have a decision to make.
Would the 13-year veteran elect to do his rehab around the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center?
Or, would he relocate away from the complex with his season on the playing field over?
The predicament wasn't difficult to Wayne.
"I love just being in that locker room, being part of a winning atmosphere," Wayne said on the Query& *Schultz *show earlier this week.
"Actually being around the guys, helps me through this troubling time of being injured. It's fun. The guys keep me laughing every day."
Similar to other Colts players rehabbing season ending injuries, Wayne has a fine balance between his time in the treatment room and trying to instill his wisdom into the young receivers.
Wayne joked that this period of time is a bit of a rehearsal on whether or not coaching could be in his future once his playing career has commenced.
"I got double duty if you look at it that way," Wayne said of his rehab and film study. "To a certain extent, I still prepare like I were playing. I like to feel like I'm a starter. That's what I've been used to for the last 13 years. I try my best to make as much meeting time as I can as well as getting my treatment in at the same time. It's long days for me but what I can I do."
Come Sunday, Wayne will once again be down on the sideline trying to dissect plays and offer assistance to the Colts receiving corps.
With 28 years of experience between guys like Wayne and Matt Hasselbeck, the Colts coaching staff has a few more minds to turn to during the heat of competition.
"I see everything. It's a different feel," Wayne said of being on the sidelines. "When you are out there playing it's 100 miles per hour. You have to think ASAP. On the sidelines, you can kind of look to the guy beside you and say, 'Look what he's doing.' When you are out there playing, you can't do that. It's a whole different perspective and it really makes you appreciate the game a little bit more.
"I use it to the best of my advantage to help those guys out. We all put our minds together on the sideline and try to find another play that will work."
When Wayne re-signed with the Colts in the 2012 offseason, the new regime was not only getting one of the game's top receivers but also a mentor to a young skill position group.
It's watching those players grow up on a daily basis that has Wayne eager to get to the complex every morning.
Wayne considers himself a fan in some cases, just sitting back and watching his fellow receivers ask questions in an effort to become elite.
"These guys in the meeting room every day want to be part of the action," Wayne said. "They want to be part of it and do their best to make themselves household names. I see it every day and I give them as much as I possibly can because I want those guys to succeed.
"I guess as Colts fans you can kind of see what you have in the future and I respect that. I love to see those guys go out and do the best that they can. As a teammate, that's all you can ask for. I'm hoping that those guys continue to stay healthy and put the work in each week like they've been doing. I'm sure great things are going to continue to happen for them."
On Tuesday night, Andrew Luck joined Wayne on the Query& *Schultz *radio show.
Luck took the first segment himself, with Wayne stuck in traffic, but the signal caller was briefly interrupted by the crowd's cheer early in the show.
It was Wayne entering the building and the love from the fans is something that the Pro Bowler holds in high regard.
"The fans have been outstanding. I've been reading on my website, reading the newspapers and just even around town people at a red light, showing me how much support they have in me and the Colts, telling me they can't wait to see me back out there," Wayne said.
"Believe it or not, they've inspired me even more to go out there and return back to the team in better form. So I'd like to take a shout out to all the fans. I appreciate it. Thank you very much. It's been awesome."