INDIANAPOLIS -- One of Indianapolis Colts Andrew Luck's biggest challenges will come Sunday against the Houston Texans when he goes under center -- or in the shotgun -- to take the snap and doesn't have Reggie Wayne lined up at receiver.
Wayne has played in 92.2 percent of the team's 1,550 offensive snaps since the start of the 2012 season. Luck’s quarterback rating is 18 and he's only completed 23.8 percent of his attempts on the 121 plays Wayne has been off the field.
It doesn’t stop there.
Wayne has accounted for 35 percent of the Colts’ first downs converted through the air and 34 percent of their third down receptions. Luck’s also targeted Wayne on 24 of 91 red zone attempts.
“I don’t think we’ll miss a beat,” Luck said. “Maybe certain things, routes Reggie always got, there might be a couple of things in practice we might have to work on. I don’t think we’ll miss a beat when it comes to Sunday in terms of receiver production and production from our end."
It’ll be a transition for Luck as he has to get use to not having Wayne on the field. He’ll be throwing to Darrius Heyward-Bey, T.Y. Hilton, LaVon Brazill, Griff Whalen and David Reed instead at the receiver spot. Heyward-Bey and Hilton have 45 catches and three touchdowns this season. The concern lies with Brazill, Whalen and Reed. The three have combined for two catches -- both by Whalen -- this season. Of course, it'll help the Colts if can continue to be one of the top rushing teams in the league.
"Oh man, it’s a big loss in the offense without Reggie," Brazill said. "But we’ve got some young guys that can make plays and Darrius, he’s going to be our leader and he’s capable of making big plays. We’re just going to go out there and just play. Do what we’ve been doing.”