INDIANAPOLIS — Most everybody who has followed the Indianapolis Colts this season know that veteran Reggie Wayne quickly emerged as the go-to receiver of rookie quarterback Andrew Luck.
Wayne, who could have left the Colts in the offseason after his contract expired, has had an outstanding season so far with 88 catches for 1,156 yards and three touchdowns. He has been targeted at least nine times in 11 of the team's 12 games this season.
Opposing teams have noticed too. More and more in recent weeks, Wayne has often been double, and sometimes triple, teamed as he's attempted to find passing lanes in the defense.
With that being the case, Luck has been forced to find other places to go with the football on a regular basis. Donnie Avery and rookie T.Y. Hilton have stepped up their games, as have rookie tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener.
Avery has 49 catches for 675 yards and three TDs on the year. Hilton, meanwhile, has 39 receptions for 598 yards and five touchdowns. Allen has hauled in 36 passes for 435 yards and two TDs. Fleener has been sidelined with a shoulder injury but returned to catch a touchdown pass in last week's road win over Detroit.
By spreading the wealth, as it were, Luck has done a nice job of keeping defenses guessing. But Wayne will always be the No. 1 option in the Indianapolis passing attack.
“It’s very important because we know Reggie is going to get double-teamed, triple-teamed,” Hilton said earlier this week. “We know we are going to see looks that we haven’t seen before. For us to be in the right spot on timing, we’ve got to be perfect.”
Interim coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians wasn't happy with the overall play of the Colts' young receiving corps last Sunday. Arians wasn't shy about pointing it our during his Monday post-game review.