In his career-high 212-yard performance last week, Reggie Wayne was trailed all afternoon by the Packers’ Pro Bowl cornerback duo of Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson.
The challenge Wayne will face this week will be no different as a man he is very familiar with in Antonio Cromartie will likely be opposite No. 87.
Jets All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis is out for a significant time period due to a knee injury so the shutdown responsibilities in the New York pass defense has fallen to Cromartie.
Against the Texans on Monday night, Cromartie was exactly that. He held Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson to one catch while the versatile Cromartie also saw some time on offense due to a depleted Jets receiving corps.
Colts interim head coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians knows the talent of Cromartie but also believes Wayne’s movement around the Indianapolis offense will pose a challenge.
“(Wayne will) probably get challenged from Antonio Cromartie who has played very well against him in the past,” Arians said.
“Reggie is in the slot now and we move him around a lot more so that (Cromartie) can’t just be focused on a wide receiver playing bump and run all the time. If that’s the matchup they want to play, then he’ll have to follow him and run all over the field in a different position than he’s normally used to.”
During his four seasons with the San Diego Chargers, Cromartie has had some of his best games against the Colts. He picked off three passes in a 2007 regular season win and then followed that up with another interception in a playoff victory over Indianapolis that season.
Wayne has also had his own success against secondaries with Cromartie. In the 2007 losses to the Chargers, Wayne had games of 10 catches for 140 yards and a touchdown, and seven grabs for 76 yards and a score.
Jets head coach Rex Ryan took notice of Wayne’s AFC Offensive Player of the Week performance on Sunday saying it ‘gets your antenna up a little bit.’
“Reggie is a terrific player. He’s always been an elite receiver in this league,” Ryan said.
“Right now, he’s doing some of the dirty jobs too. He’s kind of taking that Hines Ward role that Pittsburgh had under (Bruce) Arians and doing some blocking and boots and all that type of stuff and they’re moving him all over whereas Reggie before he was always as I look at him on the defensive right, the offensive left. So I think he’s a little harder to find right now for sure.”
Tags: bruce arians, Reggie Wayne
Posted in Colts Blog