INDIANAPOLIS -- Reggie Wayne is done trying to lobby with coach Chuck Pagano. The Indianapolis Colts receiver did it with his coach at the start of training camp. He did it when it came to his practice time. He did it before the first two preseason games.
Wayne knows lobbying won’t do any good. His status for the Saturday’s game against the New Orleans Saints will be determined by Pagano.
So what do you say, coach, will Wayne play in his first game since Week 7 of the 2013 season when he tore his ACL?
“It’ll be a game-time decision,” Pagano said Thursday afternoon.
Ugh, the infamous game-time decision used by coaches.
Wayne said at the start of training camp that he wanted his first tackle in a game to come in the preseason, not on Sept. 7 against the Denver Broncos.
But that will likely be the case if Wayne doesn’t play Saturday because starters don’t routinely play in the preseason finale.
“I’ll just watch the Denver film from last year, watch the last time I got tackled,” Wayne said if he doesn’t play in the preseason. “I have to some kind of way. I have some kids. Sit in the middle of the living room and let them tee off on me. He says no go, I’ll be fine. I’ll be alright. There are not too many guys in this world who want to be tackled. I’ll be fine. I’ll be able to adjust. It’ll be Week 1, I guess.”
Wayne made sure to point out that he hasn’t had any kind of setback with his knee.
“I feel good, I feel like the Reggie of old. I really do,” he said. “Nothing has stopped me from doing what I have wanted to do. There’s no routes I can’t run. I feel fine. I guess it’s more that Coach Pagano and the Colts organization want to see me healthy for Week 1.”
Wayne wanting to play Saturday is about more than just getting that first tackle out of the way. He wants to be out there playing with fellow receivers T.Y. Hilton and Hakeem Nicks and the rest of the offense so they can get a feel for each other in a game that doesn’t count in the standings.
“Preseason, a lot of people think it’s nothing, but it’s very meaningful,” Wayne said. “You get a lot of stuff accomplished. You get a lot of stuff that you probably wouldn’t normally do in the regular season. You have an opportunity to try it out in the preseason. I just want to go out there and experience it.
“I want to be out there with my teammates. I want to be out there with T.Y. Hilton with Hakeem Nicks just to give people a glimpse of what they’re going to see. I want to be a part of that. I don’t want that to be the first time in Week 1.”