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Weslye Saunders was keeping something from his teammates on Wednesday morning.
They knew Saunders had played with new running back Chris Rainey in Pittsburgh and against him in college.
Yet, Saunders wanted his teammates to get their own look at the electric Rainey on the football field before he offered his own opinion.
“We are getting a special player,” Saunders said of Rainey. “That guy is a hell of a player. Tough little dude.”
The 5-9, 180-pound Rainey is known for his All-American track speed that he showcased in the University of Florida’s spread offense.
Rainey was chosen in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL draft and played in all 16 games of his rookie season with the Steelers.
Whether it was running the ball (26 carries for 102 yards), catching it (14 receptions for 60 yards) or impacting the game on special teams (39 kick returns for 1,035 yards), Rainey showcased his versatility last season.
However, the Steelers cut Rainey after an off the field incident in early January.
Rainey is “blessed” to have a second chance and says he has learned from his mistakes.
“Hell yeah,” Rainey said when asked if he’s learned. “Eleven months is a long time, so I’m just glad to be back.”
In practice on Wednesday, Rainey worked as a return man and also a scout team running back.
His dynamic ability was used in multiple ways at Florida and while he’s not exactly sure where he will fit in with the Colts, he’s grateful to be back in the NFL and playing for a contenting team.
“I know I’m a playmaker,” Rainey said. “I came to help the team win. Wherever they put me, I’ll be ready.”
As a former SEC opponent, Colts nose tackle Josh Chapman can attest to Rainey’s playmaking ability.
Safe to say Chapman is glad to have Rainey in his locker room this time around.
“We got a fast, dangerous player,” Chapman said of Rainey.
“You don’t find many small guys that run that tough. He’s pretty fast and I know I don’t like chasing him.”
Tags: Chris Rainey, josh chapman, Weslye Saunders
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The NFL today announced that Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 11. This marks the 14th time Vinatieri has earned the award in his career.
Last week, Vinatieri converted 3-of-3 field goals and three PATs for 12 points in the Colts 30-27 victory over the Tennessee Titans. In the third quarter, he split the uprights on a 50-yard field goal to give the Colts a 23-17 lead. The field goal tied his career-high for 50-yard field goals in a season (four in 2012) and marked the 20th of his career, which ranks tied for 19th in NFL history with Norm Johnson and Rian Lindell. With three extra point attempts, Vinatieri passed Lou Groza (657) for the sixth-most in NFL history.
Vinatieri increased his total to 791 career points scored with the Colts, which moved him past Dean Biasucci (783) for the second-most points scored in franchise history. He needs only nine more points to become the second player in NFL history to score 800 points with two different teams (Morten Anderson – Saints and Falcons).
Through 10 games this year, Vinatieri has converted 20-of-23 field goals (87.0%) and 22-of-22 PATs for 82 total points. He joins quarterback Andrew Luck as the second Colts player to earn AFC Player of the Week honors this season. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton was the last Colts player to earn the award on special teams, when he did so in Week 12 of the 2012 campaign.
2013 Colts AFC Player of the Week Recipients
Week 7: Andrew Luck – AFC Offensive Player of the Week
Week 11: Adam Vinatieri – AFC Special Teams Player of the Week
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Sunday’s matchup between the Colts and Cardinals is one of just two games this week involving two teams with over .500 records.
While the Colts have a three-game lead in their division, the Cardinals are fighting for a Wild Card spot in the NFC.
Here’s a breakdown of the 6-4 Cardinals, who are in the midst of a three-game winning streak.
- Veteran Carson Palmer has had an up-and-down first season as the Cardinals quarterback. He has thrown 15 interceptions but has had just two picks in the last three weeks. During Arizona’s three-game winning streak, Palmer has had games of 72.2 and 71.4 completion percentages. Palmer has been sacked 14 times in the last four weeks.
- Running back Rashard Mendenhall is reunited with his offensive coordinator from Pittsburgh in Arians. Mendenhall has had at least nine carries in every game this season but has had over 3.2 yards per carry in just one game since Week Two.
- Rookie running back Andre Ellington has 6.3 yards per carry which leads the NFL for the top 70 running backs in rush attempts. The sixth-round pick is an electric threat out of the backfield and is the primary third-down back.
- Wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd have been the main targets for Palmer with the Pro Bowler in Fitzgerald having 11 more targets then the second-year Floyd.
- The Cardinals have one of the best run defenses in the NFL and have allowed just one runner over 100 yards (101 by Frank Gore) in 2013. Arizona has given up four rushing touchdowns this year, which is the third fewest in the NFL.
- Thanks to a stout front seven, the Cardinals are second in the NFL with 35 tackles for loss for a total of 92 yards in 2013.
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The Indianapolis Colts today signed free agent running back Chris Rainey to the active roster.
Rainey, 5-9, 180 pounds, was originally selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fifth round (159th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of the University of Florida. In 2012, he played in all 16 games, totaling 26 rushes for 102 yards and two touchdowns and 14 receptions for 60 yards. He also returned 39 kickoffs for 1,035 yards (26.5 avg.) and three punts for 16 yards. His kickoff return average ranked fifth in the AFC and tied for seventh in the NFL.
Rainey started 19-of-52 games at Florida and finished his career ranking ninth in school history with 2,464 rushing yards to go along with 13 touchdowns. He also caught 69 passes for 795 yards and six touchdowns. Rainey returned 26 punts for 235 yards (9.0 avg.) and two touchdowns as well as 18 kickoffs for 454 yards. He also set a school and Southeastern Conference record with six career blocked punts. Rainey ran track and was an All-America selection on the Gators 4×100 relay team in 2008. In 2010, he was part of a team that won the NCAA championship in the 4×100 relay, while earning All-America honors following their first place finish.
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