The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update


August 10, 2010

Colts' Gonzalez plays catch-up

Fourth-year WR recovering from right knee injury

ANDERSON, Ind. — Last season was supposed to be a breakout year for Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez.

It lasted one quarter.

Gonzalez injured his right knee in Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars and never returned. He was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 24 and missed the Colts’ Super Bowl run.

Sunday he’ll return to the field for the preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“It’ll be nice to play,” he said. “I feel like I haven’t played a game since high school. It hasn’t been that long, but it feels like it’s been awhile. So it’ll be fun, yeah.”

Gonzalez missed Monday morning’s practice with what he described as “a real bad cramp.”

“I think that’s what it is,” he said. “I hope so. I got out of bed and almost fell down.”

But he said he could return today or Wednesday and otherwise feels healthy.

That’s a relatively new feeling for the fourth-year wideout from Ohio State.

He still felt pain in his knee up to three weeks ago, but it never stopped him from getting in his offseason work.

After a hamstring injury limited his time in offseason workouts, Gonzalez approached quarterback Peyton Manning and asked to join him in Knoxville, Tenn.

“I went up to him and said, ‘Hey, I know it’s not the same, but can I come down there?” he said. “And he was all for it. It was actually kind of fun.”

The pair were joined by second-year receiver Austin Collie, who had a breakout season in Gonzalez’s place, and spent three days working out in scorching heat.

“We definitely worked,” Gonzalez said. “We went out, and it was hotter than heck. It felt like it was 150 degrees. I know it wasn’t, but it was so hot down there.”

The trio practiced route running for two hours a day on an otherwise empty field. Repetition after       repetition, trying to redevelop the all-important timing between quarterback and receiver.

“It was by no means a vacation,” Gonzalez said. “So it was pretty intense. I mean, as intense as you can make routes on air.”

Gonzalez is no stranger to innovative training techniques. He’s been known to try just about anything if he believes it will help him play better on Sundays.

So when a reporter recently noticed Gonzalez and Collie returning to the locker room wearing baseball gloves long after practice had ended, the natural question was whether they were attempting a new training regime.

No, Collie said, they’re just fans of the national pastime and occasionally like to have a catch. It also helps eye-hand coordination.

That’s a sign of the easy relationships Gonzalez forges with his teammates.

Manning, for instance, rarely fails to miss an opportunity to remind the media of Gonzalez’s importance to the offense.

“I know Anthony is happy to be out there, and every time Anthony is on the field he makes plays, big plays as you would know from the big plays he’s made throughout his time here,” Manning said last week. “So it’ll be good to get him back out there on the field. He is truly going to help our offense this year.”

In last Thursday night’s scrimmage, Gonzalez made one of the biggest plays — a 46-yard reception that gave the offense a first-and-goal at the 5-yard line.

Gonzalez said even he was surprised by how quickly the timing has come back between he and Manning, but he’s had to work a little harder to win the demanding quarterback’s trust.

“We have two-and-a-half years of experience to draw from,” he said. “And then, obviously, last year got cut very short for me. So we weren’t starting at square one by any means.”

Gonzalez said he stayed in Indianapolis last season, even while he was injured, so he could remain in the offense mentally, if not physically.

All that hard work seems to have paid off.

“He’s been doing very well,” head coach Jim Caldwell said Monday. “He has certainly come along. He certainly understands our offense extremely well, but he’s making a lot of big plays and catching the ball well and moving well.”

Text Only
  • SPT - HB0722 - Luck Dungy art George Bremer: Five favorite memories of Colts camp I thought, as a kind of primer before Wednesday's main event, I'd celebrate the fifth straight summer of the Colts at AU by sharing my five favorite memories of training camp so far.

    July 21, 2014 5 Photos

  • SPT - HB0722 - Stuckey art Pacers face uphill battle after signing Stuckey Last week, the Indiana Pacers lost Lance Stephenson. On Monday, they replaced one of the NBA's best young players with shooting guard Rodney Stuckey.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marcum claims Late Model win Morristown driver Jeff Marcum has watched victories in the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models slip away this season, but that changed Saturday at Anderson Speedway.

    July 20, 2014

  • SPT-HB0720-HoosierParkart3.JPG Miller leads Champion Driver Series

    When the format was announced for Hoosier Park’s initial Champion Driver Series, it was thought that getting either the fifth or sixth pick in every race but never first or second might be a huge disadvantage. Lewayne Miller proved otherwise.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0720 - Mireles art Mireles looks toward future after all-star finale Surrounded by his friends and family near midfield under the lights of Friday night, Elwood’s Sammy Mireles did something he’s never done in his career. The state’s all-time leading rusher freely absorbed a hit.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0720 - Tennis Classic - JC 1 Hiatt repeats, Hammel wins first title at tennis classic There was a repeat winner and a first-time winner in the Men's A Singles and Women's A Singles championship matches on Saturday morning at the 34th annual Community Hospital Anderson Tennis Classic.

    July 19, 2014 4 Photos

  • Hucks move on in A Doubles bracket Shawn Huck doesn't have an easy decision when it comes to picking partners for the 34th Annual Community Hospital Anderson Tennis Classic.

    July 18, 2014

  • SPT - HB0718 - Tennis Classic logo Varsity mixed doubles champs crowned at Tennis Classic The scene slightly resembled a war zone and slightly a country club at Anderson University on Thursday afternoon. As Indianapolis Colts personnel started tearing down tennis court bleachers and parked what appeared to be nearly 100 golf carts in preparation for training camp starting on Thursday next week, one of the first titles was handed out in the Community Hospital Anderson Tennis Classic.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Champion drivers ready for series opener Saturday at Hoosier Park Harness drivers were turned into handicappers on Thursday and their effectiveness in that role will be determined Saturday night.

    July 17, 2014

  • Champion Driver Series ready to roll Saturday

    Harness drivers were turned into handicappers on Thursday and their effectiveness in that role will be determined Saturday night.

    July 17, 2014

Latest Sports Photos

Click here to browse and buy photos from The Herald Bulletin

Latest Racing News