Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne fought through a rare case of cramps during his 13-catch, 212-yard effort Sunday. He hid it well considering the way he repeatedly torched the Green Bay Packers secondary.
"I know I had to sacrifice my body to get it done for Chuck (Pagano)," Wayne told Yahoo Sports reporter Mike Silver. "I was cramping up on that last drive - I never cramp, but I was hurting pretty bad. But I had to give everything I had, because this was too important."
Reggie Wayne's career-day Sunday was six months in the making. The Colts star receiver assumed he'd be wearing a another jersey when a disgusting 2-14 campaign in 2011 mercifully ended. The organization was starting over with a new general manager, coach and quarterback. The roster was turned over, including saying goodbye to Peyton Manning and drafting Andrew Luck, and Wayne was a free agent.
"I was at home in Miami getting ready for free agency, my kids running around, nothing but noise, when I saw a '317' number flash across my phone," Wayne said. "I answered it to see what was up. As soon as I heard the voice on the other line, I knew it was him. I've been knowing Chuck Pagano for a long time. This is beyond 'head coach.' This is family.
"I was telling him congratulations, yada, yada, yada, and he said, 'Hey, I can't do this without you. He told me, 'Take a leap of faith.' I've been knowing him for 16 years, and I knew I'd go balls to the wall for him, no matter what. I trusted him. That means a lot."
A call from owner Jim Irsay cemented his decision to stay at the discounted rate of three years, $17.5 million.
Those conversations led to Sunday's performance. The yardage was a career-high and he pulled in the game winning touchdown with 35 seconds left. It was classic Wayne with a one-handed catch, a third-and-12 leaping grab with a defender draped on his back and a dive for the game-winner.Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.