Five-time Pro Bowl receiver, including this season, Reggie Wayne caught just one pass for one yard in the Colts’ 17-16 Wild Card loss to the Jets on Saturday, and he’s not happy about it. The worst part is that he caught every ball thrown his way. That’s right, Wayne — who was second in the NFL this season with 111 receptions and third in receiving yards with 1355 — was targeted just one time.
“I shouldn’t have even suited up,” Wayne told The Indianapolis Star. “I should have watched the game like everybody else. I was irrelevant.” The fact that Wayne even said anything speaks to the magnitude of the issue. It’s out of character for him — or anyone else on that team, to vent any frustration publicly — especially when it could be perceived as being aimed at quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning’s performance has been questioned this season, but not from inside the organization.
An obvious reason why Wayne saw only one ball is because he was being covered by fellow-Pro Bowler, Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, but that’s a ridiculous excuse. Wayne is too good and the game was too big for him to be targeted once. In contrast, Blair White and Jacob Tamme had eight catches each. I get the idea that Revis’ focus on Wayne opened up the field for those two, along with Pierre Garcon, but again, that’s an excuse.
When you’ve got a weapon like Wayne, you have to find a way to get him the ball. You move him around, run screens, whatever it takes. He’s going to get open. Instead, Manning essentially ignored one of the game’s premier receivers and the Colts’ season ended as a result. Wayne has every right to be frustrated and I bet Manning looks his way a little more next time. At least he should.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Michael ConroyGoogle+