Wayne sits 101 catches behind his former teammate Marvin Harrison on the all-time catch list. (Lenny Ignelzi/AP)
The 34-year-old Wayne also now sits 101 grabs behind Harrison,
Reggie Wayne further etched his name into the NFL record books Monday, becoming just the ninth player in league history to reach 1,000 career receptions.
He reached the milestone in the fourth quarter, on a tumbling 21-yard catch. Entering the night four catches shy of 1,000, it appeared Wayne may get there much sooner than that after making a 35-yard grab on Indianapolis' first play from scrimmage. He added a 3-yarder in the second quarter, but then would be held off the board until back-to-back fourth-quarter grabs. Wayne later tacked on a fifth reception -- his 1,001st overall -- during Indianapolis' fruitless comeback attempt late. (The Colts lost the game to the Chargers, 19-9).
Wayne joined Jerry Rice, Tony Gonzalez, Marvin Harrison, Cris Carter, Tim Brown, Terrell Owens, Isaac Bruce and Hines Ward in the NFL's 1,000-catch club. His final reception of the evening leapfrogged him over Ward and into eighth place on the career receptions list, 23 back of Bruce.
The 34-year-old Wayne also now sits 101 grabs behind Harrison, who like Wayne (at least to this point) spent his entire career with the Colts franchise.
Jerry Rice's record of 1,549 career receptions likely is safe from Wayne's hands. To challenge that mark, Wayne would need to average 100-plus catches for at least five more seasons, including this one. After Monday night's performance, Wayne has 33 grabs in 2013.
The only other active player with 1,000 catches is Gonzalez, who bumped his total to 1,275 with a 10-reception showing in Week 5. The Falcons' tight end has said repeatedly that he plans to retire following this season.
Wayne's first catch came way back in 2001, shortly after the Colts made him the 30th-overall draft choice. Wayne had the good fortune of arriving in Indianapolis three years after Peyton Manning had inherited the team's quarterback job, and that pairing proceeded to connect for 779 completions between '01 and 2010. Three times during that stretch, Wayne topped 100 catches in a season; his 1,510 yards receiving in 2007 led the league.
Even during the Colts' miserable, Manning-less 2011 campaign, Wayne managed to haul in 75 passes. He bumped that total up to 106 last season, in Andrew Luck
's rookie season. Currently, Wayne is on pace for 88 receptions in 2013, which would bump his career total to 1,056 -- that would be good for seventh place on the NFL's all-time list.