Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

October 29, 2013

Recharged Colts ready for some football after bye

INDIANAPOLIS — Colts coach Chuck Pagano walked into a refreshed meeting room Monday.

Players were focused, excited and eager to get back to work as they embark on a critical two-week stretch that could dictate their fate in the AFC South.

No, one week wasn't enough to get everyone healthy, but it was long enough to give these players time to rest, recover and recharge before turning their competitive switch back on.

"You've got to, you're a professional," cornerback Darius Butler said. "Even on the off time, you're still watching film, still rehabbing, still talking to some of the guys. You've always got to stay tuned in and you're right back to it on Monday."

Little had changed since Pagano rewarded the Colts (5-2) for last week's win over Peyton Manning and previously unbeaten Denver by giving them one full week away from practice — rather than just the four days required by NFL rules.

Tennessee (3-4) and Houston (2-5) both had bye weeks, too, leaving the AFC South title chase in exactly the same place the Colts left it.

Indy (5-2) was dealing with yet another homecoming, Andrew Luck's return to Houston where he played prep football, as they prepared for the two-time defending division champs.

And the Colts were still preparing for life without Reggie Wayne. The perennial Pro Bowl receiver, who is eighth in league history in receptions (1,006) and had season-ending surgery Friday for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. It's the first time since 2002 that the Colts put together a game plan without Wayne in the mix.

"He's in good spirits, rehabbing three times a day, grinding it out as we would all expect. He's doing well," Pagano said. "He'll be back here eventually. As soon as they let him, he's good enough to travel and all that stuff."

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