2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Colts' passing game scuffles a bit without Wayne

By CLIFF BRUNT - Associated Press
    2013-11-07 17:57

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indianapolis Colts know that no single player can replace wide receiver Reggie Wayne.

Still, Indy will need to be more effective and balanced in its passing game since Wayne is out for the season with a torn right ACL.

The Colts continued their winning ways with a 27-24 comeback victory against the Houston Texans last Sunday night.

But they got off to a slow start in their first game without their 13-year veteran receiver who stabilized the offense and provided a veteran presence for Andrew Luck.

T.Y. Hilton caught seven passes for 121 yards and three touchdowns against Houston, but Indy still is looking for more from the rest of the receiving group heading into Sunday's home game against the St. Louis Rams.

The Colts say the passing game has the talent to step forward with receivers Darrius Heyward-Bey and Griff Whalen, running back Trent Richardson and tight end Coby Fleener.

''This team has always bought into the mentality and the mindset of next man up,'' Colts coach Chuck Pagano said.

''We haven't wavered from that. They haven't wavered from that. Fortunately, we've been successful and we've been able to overcome. So, from a confidence standpoint, that's why these guys don't flinch.''

Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton said Luck trusts his receivers, so his approach won't change.

''I think Andrew has done a pretty good job of distributing the ball to different guys, and that's a big part of our system and our approach,'' he said. ''Defensively, they can't zero in on one guy and scheme up a way to take that one guy away. Those guys (other receivers), I think they're up to the challenge.''

Luck was one of the league's most efficient passers in the first half of the season, but he completed just 18 of 40 passes against Houston in his first game as a pro without his favorite target. Hilton noticed things were much different without Wayne early.

''It wasn't the same not having him out there in that first half,'' Hilton said. ''So we went back in there the second half, adjusted - we had to man up. Since 87 wasn't there, somebody had to make a play.''

Hilton already was starting to garner attention. Now, as Luck's No. 1 target, he'll be an even bigger focus of defensive game plans. He enters 12th in the AFC with 533 yards receiving.

''His numbers will certainly change because of the loss of Reggie, which is very unfortunate,'' Rams coach Jeff Fisher said.

''It appears that obviously he's able to do the same things. They're moving him around, asking a lot of different things of him. He's got exceptional speed. He can make the tough catch. He's got run-after-catch ability.''

There were bright spots on Sunday. Fleener had three catches for 64 yards, and he caught a 2-point conversion in the fourth quarter that gave Indianapolis a 27-24 lead with four minutes left.

Richardson, the Colts' running back, caught two passes for 33 yards against Houston after catching just two passes in the previous five games combined. The Colts are trying to find ways to get him more opportunities in the passing game.

''We know he's got that ability,'' Pagano said. ''I think as he gets more comfortable with the scheme and terminology and all those types of things and the game, the situation, the score, all those things kind of line up - if the stars all line up we'd love to get him in space more and get the ball in his hands more.''

Not all the connections went well on Sunday. The Colts targeted Whalen nine times, and he caught just three passes. Heyward-Bey was targeted six times and caught just one pass.

Luck said he's looking ahead.

''I think you hopefully learn from your mistakes,'' he said. ''We did some good things. It's nice to say, `We can win without Reggie in the lineup.' It's a mental sort of checklist thing that's nice. Hopefully, you learn from the mistakes more than anything from the past game. We're 100 percent onto St. Louis now.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Adrian PetersonApr 23 05:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson may not be in the Dallas Cowboys' plans after all, according Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. Robinson said the Cowboys have not spoken to the Vikings regarding Peterson.

Demaryius ThomasApr 23 03:32p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas has decided not to participate in offseason workouts because he does not want to suffer an injury, but general manager John Elway does not [ More ]

Will HillApr 23 03:12p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent FS Will Hill signed his tender offer Thursday, April 23, according to sources. Hill received a one-year deal worth $1.54 million.

Andre EllingtonApr 23 03:02p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington's (foot) injured foot is about 95 percent healed, and Ellington has not suffered any setbacks, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

M. Jones-DrewApr 23 02:22p

Free-agent RB Maurice Jones-Drew (Raiders) will sign a one-day deal to retire as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars next Tuesday, April 28. He played nine seasons and rushed [ More ]

Victor CruzApr 23 02:12p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) said he believes that he will be ready to play in the season opener next season and play like he did before he suffered the injury.

Justin TuckerApr 23 01:52p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent PK Justin Tucker has signed his one-year tender offer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bear PascoeApr 23 12:52p

Free-agent TE Bear Pascoe (Falcons) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Thursday, April 23. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sam BradfordApr 23 01:53a

The Philadelphia Eagles and QB Sam Bradford have yet to make significant progress on a contract extension sparking speculation the quarterback might be traded again, although head coach Chip [ More ]

Brandin CooksApr 22 11:43p

New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks (knee) spent time training together with QB Drew Brees during the offseason in San Diego. 'Man, I love everything about him, his makeup, [ More ]

Greg JenningsApr 22 06:13p

Free-agent WR Greg Jennings (Vikings) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Philip RiversApr 22 05:33p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers may be losing faith in the organization, according to NFL Network analyst and former Chargers' RB LaDainian Tomlinson. 'The parts around him keep [ More ]

Jacques McClendonApr 22 04:13p

Free-agent OG Jacques McClendon (Jaguars) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Adrian PetersonApr 22 02:23p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not expected to be traded by the Vikings unless the team is overwhelmed by an offer from another team, according to a source. [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 22 02:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown said he is not participating in voluntary workouts because he is spending time with his newborn child. Brown said he will report to offseason [ More ]

Marvin LewisApr 22 11:33a

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis signed a one-year extension Wednesday, April 22. He's under contract through the 2016 season.

S. RichardsonApr 21 05:23p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Shaquille Richardson (undisclosed) was released Tuesday, April 21, with a failure to disclose physical condition designation.

Adrian PetersonApr 21 01:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson remains a candidate to be traded, and a source close to the situation believes that if he isn't traded before or during the 2015 [ More ]

Dennis PittaApr 20 06:52p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) is participating in the team's voluntary conditioning program that started Monday, April 20. Pitta's career remains in doubt after fracturing his right hip [ More ]

Prince AmukamaraApr 20 05:22p

New York Giants CB Prince Amukamara (biceps) said he's about 90% recovered from a torn biceps he suffered last season.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 05:02p

Updating a previous item, free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) signed a contract to officially retire with the Arizona Cardinals.

Tim TebowApr 20 03:52p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) officially signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 20 01:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not in attendance for the start of the team's offseason workout program Monday, April 20, according to league sources. However, Peterson hasn't attended [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 20 11:02a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown is seeking a new contract and could hold out from minicamps and training camp, according to sources.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 07:22a

Free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) is expected to retire Monday, April 20, and join the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff. The Cardinals, the team Wilson played for from 2001-2012, have announced a press conference.

Tim TebowApr 19 07:42p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) is expected to sign a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20.

Stefen WisniewskiApr 18 01:02p

Free-agent C Stefen Wisniewski (Raiders) signed a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday, April 18. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Ryan JensenApr 17 05:02p

Baltimore Ravens exclusive rights free-agent TE Phillip Supernaw, SS Brynden Trawick, CB Rashaan Melvin and OT Ryan Jensen re-signed with the team Friday, April 17. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 17 12:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said earlier this week that he's not sure if he'll participate in the team's offseason program. Minnesota is set to start their offseason workouts [ More ]

Adrian PetersonApr 16 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will not receive any further suspension after he is reinstated from the commissioner's exempt list, according to a source.

Adrian PetersonApr 16 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been informed that he will be reinstated from the commissioner exempt list starting Friday, April 17.

Sammy WatkinsApr 15 11:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (hip) is able to work out in some capacity during the team's offseason program, although head coach Rex Ryan indicated Wednesday, April 15, that [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group