Colts acknowledge Wayne is fighting triceps injury
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Colts coach Chuck Pagano has an explanation for Reggie Wayne's recent struggles - the six-time Pro Bowler has been playing with a torn left triceps.
Until Sunday, Indianapolis had only acknowledged Wayne had injured his left elbow Oct. 19 against Cincinnati.
But after beating Cleveland 25-24, Pagano inadvertently mentioned on Sunday's postgame radio show that Wayne had been battling an assortment of injuries including a ''torn tri'' before stopping in mid-sentence.
''You know what, he battles every week, coming back from the knee, the elbow, a lot of nagging stuff that's difficult for anybody to deal with,'' Pagano said Monday after acknowledging the two arm injuries were connected.
''There's something there because we know the player Reggie is and how he contributes and how he can make the clutch catch and all those things.''
Clearly, Wayne hasn't been 100 percent.
Since sitting out against Pittsburgh on Oct. 26, Wayne has only 17 receptions for 207 yards and one touchdown in five games. Two of the past three games have been especially difficult.
Wayne was targeted eight times Sunday and dropped three. He finished with one catch for 5 yards, ending an NFL record streak of 82 consecutive games with three or more receptions, though he did run the key rub route that led to Andrew Luck's winning touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton.
Two weeks earlier, in a win over Jacksonville, Luck threw two short passes to Wayne in the waning minutes to keep the reception streak alive. After Wayne got his third reception, Luck started going to his knee.
With his contract about to expire, Wayne's declining productivity has led to speculation about the future of a 36-year-old receiver who missed the last nine regular-season games in 2013 with a torn ACL in his right knee.
Through the years, Wayne has been the model of consistency. He had seven straight 1,000-yard seasons, topped the 100-catch mark three times in four years and is tied with Peyton Manning for most games (208) and most wins (141) in franchise history. Wayne could break those records if he plays in Sunday's regular season home finale.
Indy (9-4) also can clinch its second straight AFC South title with a win over Houston (7-6) this weekend.
But Pagano isn't giving away his plans yet.
''We'll do whatever gives us the best chance to win and obviously, what's best for the player,'' he said.
Not disclosing accurate injury information can be a violation of league rules.
Late last week, NFL officials said they would ''look into'' the reasoning behind omitting Dallas quarterback Tony Romo's injured ribs from the weekly report. The league has not commented on it since then, and coach Jason Garrett said Monday he believes it is a ''non-issue'' and has not heard back from the league.
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AP Sports Writer Schuyler Dixon in Dallas also contributed to this report.