The Indianapolis Colts picked up an enormous victory in week seven as they knocked off the previously undefeated Denver Broncos, moving Indy’s record to 5-2 and having them look like a serious contender in the NFC—or at least it should have. Though they are sitting pretty for the rest of the 2013 NFL season, the Colts will have to go forward without their leading receiver in Reggie Wayne.
Wayne went down in a pile in the heart of their matchup with the Broncos, with his knee contorting in a way that knees shouldn’t contort. After the game and subsequent check-ups, the worst that the Colts could have feared was confirmed with Wayne suffering both a torn ACL and a torn meniscus. Obviously, the injury effectively ends Wayne’s season.
The injury to Wayne obviously changes how the Colts’ offense is going to operate from here on out. T.Y. Hilton, Darius Heyward-Bey and Coby Fleener will all see more targets with Wayne out of the passing game, but the Colts will also rely more heavily on their running game than they already do.
Indianapolis has had one of the most balance offenses in the entire league this season, running the ball 199 times to just 227 passing attempts. However, their big acquisition from earlier this season, Trent Richardson, hasn’t been that effective since coming to Indy.
In five games, Richardson has averaged only three yards per carry. That would be bad standing alone, but in comparison to fellow Colts’ running back Donald Brown is averaging 5.9 yards per carry. Considering that they gave their first-round pick in 2014 pick and considering that they are going to have to run the ball more with Wayne out, Richardson has to step it up.
Richardson has shown numerous times throughout college and at various times in his short NFL game that he has talent, but he hasn’t been able to put it all together in the NFL yet as a whole. If it’s going to happen, now would be the ideal time for the Colts.