Today, Indianapolis placed Reggie Wayne on injured reserve. Reggie was on pace for 87 catches and 1150 yards this season, and, even at 34, was averaging a healthy 13 yards per reception. The Colts’ locker room leader will have to put things on hold for the season as he recovers from ACL surgery.
To fill the void on the roster, the Colts signed free agent and former Chiefs cornerback Jalil Brown (6-1, 208, 26 yrs. old).
From the team’s press release:
Brown, 6-1, 204 pounds, recorded 22 tackles (20 solo), two passes defensed, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and 13 special teams tackles in 29 games played (two starts) with the Kansas City Chiefs. He was originally selected by the Chiefs in the fourth round (118th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft and was waived on September 1, 2013. For his collegiate career at Colorado, Brown appeared in 49 games (28 starts) and totaled 167 tackles (113 solo), 24 passes defensed, six interceptions and four fumble recoveries.
Wayne caught 38 passes for 503 yards and two touchdowns in seven starts this season. He compiled a streak of 189 consecutive games played since his rookie season in 2001, which ranked second among all active players in the NFL. Wayne also posted an NFL-record 71 consecutive games with three-or-more receptions, dating back to the first game of the 2009 season. For his career, he has recorded 1,006 receptions for 13,566 yards and 80 touchdowns in 196 games played (182 starts).
Wayne will be missed. Players, coaches and fans here in Indy and all around know his importance to this team. “We hate to lose anybody, but this one stings,” Chuck Pagano said yesterday. “See, you just don’t replace guys like 87. Again, we hate to lose anybody, but he’ll be back. I know how he’s wired. I know what his DNA is. I know how he is as a man. Everybody is going to say no way, but after the conversation I just had with him, just wait and see. So, we’ll all put on the gloves for Reggie and we’ll help him get through this and get him back.”
Pagano said the slack on offense will be picked up “by committee,” and added, “That group in that room (the receivers), you just watch how they play. Because when we lose a family member, we’re tight as it is, but this will make us even stronger. It’ll make that room even stronger. And they have a responsibility and they’re accountable to one another. They’ll go out and they’ll play better than they’ve ever played for 87.”
Meanwhile, several cornerbacks were banged up on Sunday night, so it’s little surprise that the newest Colt is a corner. Jalil Brown ran a 4.39 second 40-yard dash at the combine in 2011, and, according to his NFL Draft profile, his strengths are a good fit for Indy:
Brown is a big corner with good speed, comfortable in press man, jamming and re-routing at the line, and turning and running. Hard-nosed player who is willing in run support and will fight for the jump ball. Makes the routine interception. Received multiple accolades while at Colorado for his work ethic.
Based on his draft profile, Brown needs to improve against the run and in zone coverage, but a good man cover corner can be a fine asset.
Here is a clip of Brown at Colorado, though it is not a scouting video. It’s all highlights, so it might make him look like an All-Pro, but it should get us an idea of some of his strengths at the very least: