Reggie Wayne happy to finally get back to playing again
INDIANAPOLIS – For months upon months he has wanted to walk the walk but he couldn’t. Talking the talk was all he could do.
For just around ten months, Reggie Wayne was recovering and then rehabbing the torn ACL in his right knee as he watched his teammates complete the 2013 season without him.
As he rehabbed, Wayne continued to say that he would prove doubters wrong and at 35-years old would return to his old form if not better. This continued through the spring and summer from Miami to Indianapolis to Anderson and then back to Indy.
But come Sunday against the same opponent to which the talk begin, the walk will finally come to pass.
“That’s another reason why I’m excited that the regular season is here,” said Wayne, who can finally show off his rebuilt knee on Sunday at Sports Authority Field against the Denver Broncos. “I can finally go out there and show everybody that I’m ready, that I’m healed, and hopefully these ACL questions will kind of be put to bed a little bit.”
“So let’s knock on wood and make sure everything stays the course and go out there and play a good football game.”
At the moment Wayne should be back on track to start where he left off. While officially listed as questionable, head coach Chuck Pagano said there will be no restrictions on the receiver when he takes the field.
“Yeah, we’re back intact, full strength,” said Pagano of having Wayne back. “Obviously we know what he has done on the football field, but in the building, on the plane, in the locker room, in the meetings, he’s such a great leader and a mentor and all those things.
“Not only as a player, but what he does off the field.”
That’s where Wayne was for almost the past year which was an unusual spot in his pro career. Till his injury against the Broncos Wayne had played in every game dating back to November of 2001 and was an example of durability at the oft hit position.
“I still love the game. I still enjoy going out there and playing the game,” said Wayne when asked what he learned over the past ten months being out. “I enjoy the camaraderie, the fellowship, the team atmosphere. It’s something that I’ve been doing since I was seven years old and I’m still enjoying it and I still love it. That’s the one thing I can take away.
“Everything else is football, doing the things I’ve been doing like I said since I was seven years old. Right now, like I said I’m excited to be out there. Hopefully we have a great ending to this story.”
In fact Wayne says he’s counted on that since the beginning.
“I know what I’m capable of doing,” said Wayne when asked if he ever doubted he could come back. “Rehabbing two, three times a day, you don’t have time for doubt. If you doubt it, there’s no sense in you getting up at 5 o’clock in the morning and rehabbing. Like I said, all that’s just to put the light in my eyes.
“It’s to show everybody now that all the rehabbing and the hard work, and two hours of rehabbing, and two hours of working out, four hours of my days every day away from my family, away from the regular world, it’s an opportunity for me to show everybody what that was about.”
Finally with the walk instead of the talk.