The Indianapolis Colts sat a lot of starters against the New York Giants, including Reggie Wayne, who has yet to make a 2014 appearance, along with T.Y. Hilton. With those two out and his former team in town, it only made sense that Hakeem Nicks would be the featured receiver, along with a dash of the presumed fourth receiver Donte Moncrief.
Though Nicks did have a standout game, Griff Whalen, former practice squad player, drew his share of attention.
Whalen’s been a bit of a yo-yo player, going between the active roster and the practice squad. He’s worked his way into games by finding ways to contribute. He plays special teams. He catches passes. Against the Giants, he returned two punts and caught five passes for 32 yards, including a touchdown from Andrew Luck. He even held the ball for Pat McAfee‘s epic 64-yard field goal attempt.
Conventional wisdom from those observing Colts’ training camp seems to indicate that Hilton and Wayne will be the No. 1 and No. 2 receivers, and Nicks will be No. 3. Rookie Donte Moncrief has likely progressed to No. 4 on the depth chart, though he has been pretty quiet so far in games.
That leaves at least one spot, possibly two for receivers on the active roster, with the top contenders being Whalen and Da’Rick Rogers, who also had a touchdown against the Giants.
No one was too surprised when Nicks gave everything he had against his former team. After the game, a reporter asked Luck if he was giving the ball to Nicks on purpose. Well, Griff has been getting the ball on purpose too. He’s been making himself available for whatever his team needs, and as far as I can tell, he’s earned a spot on the “up” side of the yo-yo this season.