Of all the
injuries the Colts have had—14 starters have missed a combined 43 games—no
position has been hit harder than receiver. In addition to Harrison's balky
knee, fifth-year player Aaron Moorehead is out with a bad back, and Gonzalez,
drafted to replace valued possession receiver Brandon Stokley, missed two games
with a dislocated thumb. Wayne is the only healthy receiver on the roster who
had an NFL reception entering this season. Manning must rely more than ever on
his tight ends and running backs.
In fact, running
back Luke Lawton made the game-winning touchdown catch against the Jaguars, on
a one-yard shovel pass. It was not only the first touchdown of Lawton's career
but also his first reception. Asked if he kept the ball, Lawton said, "I
spiked it and was like, 'Uh-oh.' But Dallas went and got it for me."
The Colts are
showing their gumption. After losing consecutive games to New England and San
Diego, they have won three in a row. The reigning Super Bowl champions are not
dazzling anybody—they beat Kansas City and Jacksonville by a mere three points
each—but they are not caving, either.
Jacksonville by two games in the AFC South and controls the head-to-head
tiebreaker, which means the division race is essentially over. The Colts can
start eyeing a playoff bye, which is vital considering their overall
The team has not
given a timetable for Harrison's return, other than to say he could play if
absolutely necessary. It is safe to assume that Harrison and Wayne will be
lining up together again in January. The most intriguing question is, where
will Manning look first?
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Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback.