Wayne ready to silence critics


Reggie Wayne spent the offseason working out.

The perennial Pro Bowler rehabbed his injured right knee two or three times a day and made semi-regular calls to check in on teammates all for one singular goal: To prove wrong anyone who doubts he can return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament at his age, be the same player and lead the Colts to a Super Bowl.

“You guys say I can’t do it,” Wayne said Friday night at a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society in Indianapolis. “You say I’m 35, over the hill, that I can’t do it. Hopefully, I can get you guys to sing another tune.”

The receiver has done it before.

After returning from a torn ACL at the University of Miami to become a first-round draft pick, he emerged from the long shadow cast by Marvin Harrison to put together his own glowing resume. Three years ago, he turned down more money from championship contenders to help Indy rebuild following the release of Peyton Manning. And he almost single-handedly willed the Colts to victory when coach Chuck Pagano missed his first game after being diagnosed with leukemia.

So when Wayne crumpled to the ground, clutching his knee, late in an October game against Denver, it seemed implausible that the iron-man receiver’s season could be over. He’s worked relentlessly since then to get back.

“I’m getting there,” Wayne said. “I’m not sure what percentage I’m at, but I feel darn good and I’d better because I’ve been rehabbing my butt off. I get a lot of ‘Daddy, when are you coming home?’ “