October 20, 2013 was one of the most heartbreaking moments for Colts fans in a long time, watching Reggie Wayne in obvious pain on the field during a game where everyone should have been thrilled that they were able to take down the Denver Broncos.
Now, just over eight months later, everyone wants to know if Wayne can return to form and continue to be the productive receiver he's been throughout his career.
As Bob Kravitz points out in an article for USA Today, Wayne's return is no sure thing, but the 35-year-old sounds motivated, saying:
Now, I'm 35. I don't think I have any redshirt eligibility left. Now I'm married, have kids, it's different all across the board ... But for some strange reason, I seem to be hungrier than I was back then. I know I don't have that time now. I know what my age is. So I'm geeked to show everybody what I can do at age 35.
Wayne was already cleared for football activities back in April, and he's made it clear that he'll be ready to go for training camp. The good news is that he won't be pressured to be the workhorse at wide receiver he's been in previous seasons, with the position stacked with talent, including names like T.Y. Hilton, Hakeem Nicks and Da'Rick Rogers.
Adrian Peterson was one of the few exceptions to the rule that players can instantly return to form after an ACL tear, but Wayne seems determined to do so himself. Time will tell, but he knows that he has the entire Colts fanbase rooting for him.
Still, he's 35 years old, and it will be understandable if he loses a step. We might not see the same Wayne in 2014, but that doesn't mean he won't be a productive player in Pep Hamilton's offense.