- Mike Wells, ESPN Staff Writer
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INDIANAPOLIS -- The ovation started as he was introduced last with the offensive starters and included a point to the sky.
Reggie Wayne was back.
The Indianapolis Colts veteran receiver didn’t have any catches -- the two he made were taken away because of penalties -- but he was back on the field for the first time in 10 months. That’s all that matter Saturday night against the New Orleans Saints.
“It was good to catch the football and get a real live game under my belt,” Wayne said. “There’s no way you can simulate that. That’s what I said last week. It was an opportunity for me to go out there, and there was some real live bullets flying at me so it was good. One down.”
Wayne, who tore his ACL in Week 7 last season, talked to Chuck Pagano on Friday, and his coach told him he’d let him know Saturday if he would play.
“It was tremendous,” Pagano said about having Wayne back. “For him, and anybody that has the opportunity and goes through something like that, especially Reggie at his age, being able to rehab and be back on the football field. You get great football players, guys that love the game like Reggie loves the game ... for all of us, it was great to see him back out there and get a little burn as we like to call it so that was good."
The Colts scripted the first play to go to Wayne where quarterback Andrew Luck rolled out and hit his favorite target along the Colts’ sideline.
It didn’t count.
Receiver T.Y. Hilton was called for being offside.
Luck went to Wayne again on the next series.
No go, again.
The play was wiped out because of a Saints penalty.
“I was already messing with T.Y. saying, ‘Who are you working for? You’re on the other side with the officials,’” Wayne joked. “Thankfully, it was the preseason, and it didn't hurt anything.”
Wayne’s final stat line didn’t mean anything. That's fine. The only thing anybody cared about was that the 35-year-old was back.
“I know the fans were excited, and I know everybody on the sidelines was excited, and we were excited on the field to have him out there,” Luck said. “Good for him to get some touches and get hit, I think. He always has that great look in his eye when he’s on the football field.”