INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts will be without wide receiver Reggie Wayne against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
Wayne was initially listed as day-to-day with an elbow injury before being ruled out Friday by coach Chuck Pagano.
Wayne has caught 38 passes for 434 yards and one touchdown this season. He was not available for comment Friday. Pagano simply stated he isn’t ready to go.
It’s the second straight season Wayne will be unavailable for Week 8. His injury appears to be temporary this time around, though. Last season, Wayne tore a knee ligament in Week 7 and missed the rest of the season. Wayne injured his elbow last week against the Cincinnati Bengals after landing on it awkwardly.
The Colts’ passing game should still be solid Sunday. Andrew Luck has targeted T.Y. Hilton 68 times, connecting on 47 of them for 711 yards and one touchdown this season, leading all Indianapolis receivers in yardage. Indianapolis also added depth this offseason by signing veteran Hakeem Nicks.
Nicks has had a quiet season catching 17 of his 32 targets for 141 yards and just two touchdowns. However, with Wayne’s injury, Nicks could play a larger role in the NFL’s No.1 offense Sunday.
“I knew the situation (coming into this season), but I knew I would have to have plenty of patience. But we’re winning and as long as we get these W’s everybody is happy,” Nicks said. “I look forward to every opportunity. Each week, I prepare accordingly like I’m going to play, just like I’m going to play this week.”
Running back Trent Richardson’s status for Sunday appears doubtful despite being ruled questionable. He has been nursing a hamstring injury he suffered last Sunday and has not practiced all week.
“He has been doing rehab,” Pagano said. “The trainers have had him. They work him out and move him around. The only thing he hasn’t done is practice. Each guy is different. We’ve got a couple (running backs) that are more than capable.”
In 2013, Richardson failed to meet the expectations of a running back traded for a first-round pick, rushing for just 458 yards and three touchdowns on 157 carries in 14 games for Indianapolis. This season, he has rushed for 358 yards and two touchdowns on 101 carries in just seven games. But he still has not shown enough to take on the majority of the work load, splitting carries with Ahmad Bradshaw, who has 336 yards and one touchdown on 70 carries.
If Richardson can’t go, Indianapolis will likely lighten Bradshaw’s load with third-year RB Daniel Herron.
“It would be a great opportunity to show how hard I’ve been working and show the coaches what I could do,” Herron said after Friday’s practice. “I feel like any position the coaches put me in, I’m going to go out there and take advantage of it to the best of my ability. Coach always says prepare like a starter, so that’s what I’ve been doing.”
Pagano also added that defensive back Darius Butler (ankle) and defensive tackle Arthur Jones (ankle) will play Sunday. Jones has not played since Week 2.
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