Fleener decided to do a tribute to Graham after scoring on a 21-yard pass in the first quarter of a 23-17 loss to the Saints at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The NFL fined Graham $30,000 for dunking a football over the crossbar twice after touchdowns last week. Fleener acted as if he was going to dunk, but faked a jump and just dropped the football on the FieldTurf.
Fleener knew how much it would have cost him if he finished the dunk.
“Yeah, far more than I can afford, I can guarantee that,” he said.
Graham thought it was funny. The two tight ends laughed about it after the game.
“He got a kick out of it,” Fleener said. “He’s a great guy.”
Added Graham, “He said he had to do it. It was pretty cool. I was hoping to get my chance at it.”
Graham caught two passes for 48 yards but didn’t score.
As a rookie in 2012, Fleener took to Twitter to solicit fans for TD celebration suggestions. Two brothers sent in a video of “The Jackhammer,” and the tight end did the simulation of operating a jackhammer after scoring his first NFL touchdown at Detroit. Fleener sent the brothers the gloves he used to catch the pass.
A few Colts came out of the game, but coach Chuck Pagano didn’t think any of the injuries were serious.
Cornerback Darius Butler tweaked an ankle and wasn’t allowed to return for precautionary reasons. Pagano said Butler didn’t need an X-ray, typically a positive indication.
Cornerback Greg Toler hurt a knee, but the coach said, “He’s going to be fine.”
Nose tackle Arthur Jones came off the field early with what was originally described as getting the wind knocked out of him, then later announced as a rib injury, but he returned.
Brees not 100 percent?
While the Colts probably couldn’t tell based on how well New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees played in his first preseason action this month, the Saints passer said afterward he’s still recovering from a strained oblique muscle.
“I don’t think I’m 100 percent yet, but I feel like the tempo and the rhythm and all those things are coming back as expected,” Brees said.
He was certainly effective enough, completing 9-of-15 passes for 128 yards and two TDs. The Saints gained 189 yards on 28 plays with Brees on the field in the opening quarter.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.