Some people were surprised that Colts running back Edgerrin James didn't arrive to work out with the rest of his teammates as they opened their minicamp sessions this weekend.
"I talked to Edgerrin and definitely got his side of it and why he's not here," said Colts head coach Tony Dungy. "It's definitely a little disappointing to us."
But some of the Colts players didn't seem phased by the news of their missing star.
"I think some of us probably already kind of knew that...he probably wasn't going to be here," wide receiver Brandon Stokley said. "It is what it is."
And one of James' best friends, wide receiver Reggie Wayne expressed his confidence in his fellow University of Miami alumnus.
"This is not the first time he's not shown up for something," Wayne said. "But he's always come in (for training camp). He's always rushed for 1,500 yards. He's always protected Peyton with no problem.
"This is how it goes. Whenever he gets here, he'll quiet everything up."
James signed an $8.1 million one-year contract after being tagged as the Colts' franchise player this year. He can be fined $1,000 for each of the three days of minicamp.
You'd think more players would skip out for that small of a price, yet all of the Colts rookies and veterans -- except James and kicker Mike Vanderjagt -- have been in Indianapolis since Monday at voluntary "summer school" workouts. Vanderjagt was in attendance at today's sessions.
"This is really when you define your team," Peyton Manning said on Monday about the voluntary workouts.
"This is when you go through the little things that are going to come up during the course of the season....We've always established our timing and become a better football team now."
Now with James absent, Manning referenced that this was "where the business side came in" and said he was hopeful the James would join the team at the beginning of training camp.
James should be grateful for the loyalty of teammates like Manning, who earlier in the week said with pride, "I think it really jumps out when you see a Marvin Harrison here, Reggie Wayne or a Jeff Saturday. The rookies go, ‘Hey, if these guys are here, this is important and it must be a big deal." "
Manning's right. It is a big deal. With the Colts a game or two away from the Super Bowl the past two seasons, they can use every "edge" that they can get.
But he's sitting in Florida.
James' Absence "Disappointing"
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