Yesterday marked the first day of training camp for many teams around the league, and the Indianapolis Colts were no exception.
There are plenty of key topics entering camp for the Colts: Peyton Manning's potential new contract, the contracts of Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis, and Anthony Gonzalez's health.
According to the Indianapolis Star, Anthony Gonzalez will not begin the regular season on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list.
Gonzalez told Eric Edholm of Pro Football Weekly that he is healthy and looks forward to competing against Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie for playing time.
"My focus is just to control my game. I can't worry about anything else. It's great competition, that's for sure," he said.
Manning worked with Gonzalez in Tennessee for a few days in July. He chimed in about Gonzalez's progress, the competition at wide receiver, and the work he performed this off-season.
“I had dinner with Gonzo last night and he sounds really good," Manning said in the team’s transcript. “We had kind of July off and we spent a little time down in Tennessee some. Gonzalez and Collie came down there and worked out with me because he missed mini camp. He wanted to get down there and get some reps.
"He and I had three really good days of throwing where I thought he looked good and I thought he looked quick, had a good burst on all his routes. So his hamstring, I think, is fully healed. I know he’s really excited to be here in training camp and get started with truly kind of a fresh start to the 2010 season.
"I know 2009 was frustrating for him. So, I’m excited for him. There is going to be good healthy competition at the wide receiver position all across the board. All those guys are going to make a big impact for our team this year.”
Even if healthy, Gonzalez faces an uphill battle this season.
Garcon had a breakout year in 2009 and his big-play ability coupled with his consistent performance week after week almost assures him that coveted No. 2 spot.
Gonzalez could, however, find solace in the slot if he can beat out Collie for playing time. Either way he will find his way into the starting rotation because he is far too talented not to.
In the Colts' offense there are plenty of passes to go around, so Gonzalez should be fine.
Last season both Wayne and Dallas Clark recorded over 100 receptions, while Collie had 60 catches and Garcon had 47.
Some of these numbers may dissipate with Gonzalez in the mix, but it will provide Manning and the Colts with an even more impressive, multidimensional passing attack that will once again create havoc in 2010.