Rushville Republican

Sports

November 15, 2013

Colts looking for more from receivers

INDIANAPOLIS - When the Indianapolis Colts signed rookie wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers to the active roster Monday after a stint on the practice squad, it was just another indication that team officials aren’t completely happy with the way the Colts’ receiving corps has played over the last two weeks.

Indianapolis has posted a 1-1 record since losing veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the Denver game on Oct. 20, beating AFC South rival Houston at Reliant Stadium and losing last week at home to St. Louis 38-8.

While second-year wide receiver T.Y. Hilton appears to be raising the level of his game, 14 receptions for 251 yards and three touchdowns, the rest of the group -- Darius Heyward-Bey, LaVon Brazill, and Griff Whalen -- haven’t been quite as productive.

Heyward-Bey, a speedster known for his inconsistent play and questionable hands while playing for Oakland the last four seasons, has four catches for 41 yards. Brazill, meanwhile, has had two receptions for 20 yards. Whalen has six catches for 68 yards.

By including Rogers to the mix, the Colts coaching staff are hoping to add some much needed big-play skills.

An athletically-gifted player who earned All-Southeastern Conference honors at the University of Tennessee, off-field issues forced the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Rogers to wrap up his collegiate career at Tennessee Tech last year.

Those same off-field issues pushed Rogers out of the 2013 National Football League draft and forced him to sign a free agent contract with the Buffalo Bills. Indianapolis signed him after he was released by the Bills.

Colts head coach Chuck Pagano is hopeful that Rogers will be able to put his past problems behind him.

“Since we brought him in here and gave him the opportunity that we talked about a long time ago, he’s done everything that we’ve asked him to do. Now we’re going to give him an opportunity because he’s earned that. He’s big, he’s fast and he’s got excellent ball skills. He’s just another guy that we can add to the mix,” Pagano said this week.

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