Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne realizes there's no sense to making a last-minute pitch to head coach Chuck Pagano to let the star play in Saturday night’s home preseason game against New Orleans.
Wayne, considered a "game-time decision" to return from right knee surgery last year, joked that Pagano wouldn’t respond to text messages anyway.
“Chuck’s been ignoring my texts,” Wayne said, smiling. “Maybe I’ve used up all his anytime minutes.”
Pagano’s eyes raised with amusement when told of Wayne’s alleged cell phone messages.
“Is that what he said?” Pagano said with a laugh, then added, “He didn’t tell you I lost my phone, huh? He never gives you the full story, does he?”
The question has become a daily topic in interviews. Wayne has yet to play a down this preseason, but assures, "I am ready."
His coach doesn't seem to mind being asked about it.
“You guys have got to be a little bit more crafty when it comes to (No.) 87 right now,” Pagano said with a chuckle. “No leaks.”
Wayne is considered 100 percent and cleared to play, but the coach added, “Sometimes you have to protect guys from themselves.”
If the 14th-year pro is a no go, his first action will be against the same team he played against when he tore his right ACL last October, the Denver Broncos. And Wayne concedes there’s no way to simulate live action before the Sept. 7 road trip to Denver.
On second thought, he might get a bit creative.
“I’ll just watch the Denver film from last year; watch the last time I got tackled,” Wayne said. “I just have to (be ready), some kind of way. I’ve got some kids. I’ll just sit in the middle of the living room and just let them tee off on me.”
Pagano didn’t say much but it was enough when asked if he would share the playing status of outside linebacker Robert Mathis. The NFL's reigning sack champion isn't hurt, but will miss the season's first four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
“I will,” Pagano said of sharing his plan for Mathis, “and he won’t.”
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.