For Colts, Answers at Wide Receiver Already in Place

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For Colts, Answers at Wide Receiver Already in Place
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The story of this week is all about how the Colts have lost their starting wide out Anthony Gonzalez for probably a month or more.

It's just another sign of the acopolypse that is supposed to be a signal of the demise of the Colts as an AFC superpower.

Yet, the are two big points in regards to the loss of Gonzalez that led me to completely believe in GM Bill Polian's faith in our current crop of receivers.

The first point is, when Gonzalez went out late in the first quarter, he didn't exactly take a lot of production with him. In fact, not only did Gonzalez have zero catches at that point, but, more importantly, Gonzalez wasn't even a target of a single Peyton Manning pass.

Not one.

Wasn't Gonzalez supposed to have a breakout year? The Colts started the game with a pretty impressive drive before Manning's ill-advised lob to the end zone was intercepted.

Yet, Gonzalez didn't get a sniff of the action.

Secondly, after Gonzalez left, it would be natural to assume that the Jags would roll their coverage over to Reggie Wayne because surely Jacksonville wouldn't worry about the inexperienced crop of receivers taking Gonzalez's place.

Well, if the Jags tried to shut Wayne down, they did a pretty poor job. Ten catches, 162 yards, and a touchdown are impressive stats for any game, especially after the No. 2 receiver goes down with an injury.

And as for those inexperienced receivers? They did just fine.

Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon may not have set the world on fire with their stats, a combined five catches for 39 yards, but with Wayne and Dallas Clark on the team, they aren't asked to either.

In limited play, Collie and Garcon both showed they are up to the challenge.

Twice Collie caught key third down passes, both times having the sense to know where the marker was and get by it.

Garcon, on one catch, ran Harrison's old route, the quick slant. Garcon took a good hit, but held on to the ball.

The only negative you could bring up was Collie's miss on a nice play down the middle seam, but that was more of a great play by the Jaguar defender than a mistake on Collie's part.

Collie and Garcon are going to be just fine.

Don't forget that in the game, both Jacob Tamme and Clark would occasionally lineup in the slot. The versatility of the Colts tight ends allows the Colts to alter their offensive setup quite a bit.

The need for another receiver isn't there when you have three receivers on the roster, plus tight ends that can play the slot. In essence, the Colts have at least five players on the roster who are capable of playing wide receiver positions, maybe even six if you allow running back Joseph Addai to split wide.

Would the Colts really want to bring a wide receiver off the street and expect them to learn one of the league's more complicated offenses?

Probably not.

As much as I personally like practice squad guys Taj Smith and John Matthews, neither of them would factor enough to bring them up to the senior squad.

And despite what national media would like to think, Marvin Harrison isn't walking through the front door of the Colts' complex.

No, the Colts will take what they have to Miami for next Monday's game, and they'll be just fine with the talent they have right now.

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