On October 20th of last year’s regular season game against the Denver Broncos (Week 7), Colts’ wide receiver Reggie Wayne tore his ACL. Although full recovery generally takes at least a year in most cases according to widespread medical opinion, the Colts’ 35-year old veteran wide receiver seemingly beat the odds and has been playing full-contact since the team’s Week 3 preseason game (August 23rd) against the New Orleans Saints.
It’s quite astounding when you think about it. Sure, a freak of nature like RB Adrian Peterson made a full recovery in less than a year in 2012, but Peterson was also 27 years young, not 35.
The advanced statistics provided by ProFootballFocus (PFF) have him ranked as the 36th best wide receiver through 3 games. It’s not great, but for comparison purposes, it’s only one spot below Bears’ budding young wideout Alshon Jeffery (35th) and is the same as the Patriots’ established Julian Edelman (36th).
While so far, Reggie Wayne hasn’t lit the world on fire, none of the Colts’ younger receivers really have either (i.e. T.Y. Hilton and Hakeem Nicks). No Colts’ wide receiver has either eclipsed 100+ receiving yards or caught more than 1 touchdown in any single game. Wayne’s steady, yet unspectacular production, can be attributed to the up’s and down’s of the Colts’ overall passing attack, just as much as it can to his own individual rust and recovery.
Still, for comparison purposes, let’s take a closer look at how Reggie’s production to-date this season compares to his 1st 3 games of 2013:
As you can see, the production is almost identical between seasons through the first 3 games. While Wayne is averaging slightly less receving yards (at 67 ypg compared to 63) and has yet to see paydirt this season (0 TD’s), the average yards per reception are still identical at 11.9. Like in 2013, he’s also had catches of 20 yards or more, showing that he still can get separation and has explosion.
So far, it looks like Reggie Wayne and the Colts have nothing to worry about, as he’s on pace for yet another productive season.