Extent, Nature of WR-Anthony Gonzalez's Knee Injury Not Yet Known, Caldwell Says
INDIANAPOLIS – A day later, Jim Caldwell said he did not know enough to say much about the status of one of the Colts' top wide receivers.
What the Colts' first-year head coach said he did know was this:
The AFC South-leading Colts (1-0) played well in spots in the 2009 season opener.
And they did not play well in others.
"Overall, our effort was good, and I think our energy was good," Caldwell said Monday afternoon, a day after the Colts' 14-12 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) in the 2009 regular-season opener, an AFC South game Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"We just executed inconsistently in key situations, but I was pleased with the way in which the guys fought. We had a lot of young players who played in the game who performed well. They have to continue to get better in order to withstand the rigors of this league, but there were some things that got accomplished yesterday."
Caldwell, speaking Monday at his next-day news conference at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, said he did not yet have enough information to provide details on an injury to third-year veteran and starting wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez.
Gonzalez sustained what Caldwell called a non-contact knee injury early against the Jaguars.
"Right now, I really don't know completely," Caldwell said. "Today is a day when the guys come back in and we have an opunity for them to be reviewed by trainers and doctors and MRIs, and things of that nature. That's the process we're going through right now.
"Until we have an opportunity to sit down with them and talk about it in detail – and get all of the facts before we make any announcement – that's typically how we've done it."
Caldwell said he anticipated meeting with doctors later Monday and declined to discuss a time frame on Gonzalez's return until then.
"When that happens, when we have something to share with you where we can be accurate, we'll certainly do that," Caldwell said. "I know you might look at me a little cross-eyed in that regard, but you might remember (tight end) Dallas Clark about three years ago, during the Super Bowl run (following the 2006 season), had suffered an injury. We thought he was going to be out and lo and behold, he was able to play.
"So, I withhold any comment until we get an opportunity to look at it from all sides."
Aside from Gonzalez, the Colts have three wide receivers on the active roster, with three-time Pro Bowl selection Reggie Wayne catching 10 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown Sunday. Austin Collie, a fourth-round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft from Brigham Young, caught two passes for 15 yards and Pierre Garcon – a sixth-round selection in 2008 from Mount Union – caught three passes for 24 yards.
"We certainly are pleased with their performance, and the way they're progressing." Caldwell said. "They're doing a nice job. Typically, you have young guys who you're afraid to put them in the ballgame. But both of those guys can play and both of them can function within the system very well."
Said Collie, "I'm just going to continue to work hard and do my job. That's about all I can do. What I'm concerned about right now is getting better, and continuing to work hard and continuing to maximize my potential. As far as playing more or playing less, I have no idea.
"A loss of a teammate is huge, and Anthony is a big-time contributor on this team. He had a huge part of the offense. My main concern is winning, and what's best for the team."
The other wide receivers in the Colts' organization are practice squad receivers Taj Smith and John Matthews.
"I'll just go through the day like a regular practice would be," Smith said. "I'll just wait and see what happens. If I get my chance, I just have to make it happen and do what I have to do."
Caldwell said the Colts "also have a number of tight ends who can flex out and play a hybrid sort of position. (Jacob) Tamme does it and, obviously, Dallas (Clark) does it."
"We have some flexibility there," Caldwell said.
The victory over Jacksonville not only was the Colts' first of the season, it was the first as a head coach for Caldwell, who took the job in January. He said he received many congratulatory calls Sunday, accepting a few, but not returning any because "I would have been on the phone quite a while."
"I had a cell phone full," he said.
Caldwell said he spent more time with family than returning messages of congratulation.
"My grandson was here," Caldwell said with a smile. "I got to spend a little more time with them rather than talking on the phone."
Also, Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri said he anticipates kicking off at some point this season. Vinatieri has handled the role in his previous three seasons with the team, but after he spent the first three weeks of preseason on the Physically Unable to Perform list with offseason knee and hip surgeries, Shane Andrus kicked off against Jacksonville Sunday.
"It's just a matter of when I'm ready to, I guess," Vinatieri said. "We're still working through a few things. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, I'll be able to do that. We're working every day to get to that level."
Andrus kicked off three times Sunday, with two reaching the end zone.