The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

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.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • ken de la Bastide mug Ken de la Bastide: Allmendinger makes Chase field

    Lost in the media furor surrounding Tony Stewart last weekend was the fact that A.J. Almendinger qualified for the Sprint Cup chase for the championship.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Speedway announces changes to races Anderson Speedway officials have announced changes to the racing programs on Oct. 4 and 11, along with the addition of an event on Oct. 25.

    August 19, 2014

  • SPT - HB0819 - Lapel football - DH - 002 High school football preview: Baseball star Cherry has Lapel dreaming big Not very often does a Division I baseball player come into a football coach's office and declare that he wants to come out for the team, but that’s exactly what Brady Cherry did last summer at Lapel High School.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0819 - McAfee art George Bremer: McAfee can't wait for another shot at miracle finish Two days later, Pat McAfee still was kicking himself for missing a 64-yard field goal that would have provided an even more improbable finish to Saturday's 27-26 preseason loss against the New York Giants.

    August 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0818 - Alex scrimmage - 058 HS football preview: QB Kelly, Tigers chasing titles this fall Alexandria’s senior quarterback Blaize Kelly has all the statistics, honors and school records, but the one thing that he is still searching for is a sectional championship.

    August 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0818 - Griff Whalen art Rogers, Whalen heating up WR conversation Da'Rick Rogers and Griff Whalen are competing so hard for the fifth WR spot, the Colts might be convinced to keep six.

    August 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pierce dominates winged sprint action Daleville’s Aaron Pierce used a fast race car and lots of patience late in the race to win the winged sprint car feature at Anderson Speedway on Saturday.

    August 17, 2014

  • WEB Colts art 8-17 Giants rally past Colts in preseason home opener Pat McAfee truly believes he should have made a game-winning field goal for the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night. Never mind that the punter's attempt came from 64 yards out — a distance that would have equaled the NFL record set by Matt Prater last year. McAfee was focused only on the 27-26 loss against the New York Giants and how his right foot could have changed it.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0816 - Colts art Colts still in evaluation mode against Giants

    Many eyes will be turned toward Jonotthan Harrison tonight when the Indianapolis Colts host the New York Giants in their second preseason game. The undrafted free agent out of the University of Florida figures to be the starting center following Khaled Holmes' sprained ankle in the opener against the New York Jets.

    August 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Winged sprint cars return to Anderson Speedway Anderson Speedway returns to racing action Saturday with the second appearance from the Must See Racing Xtreme Sprint Series. The NASH FM ThunderCars and Front Wheel Drives Oval divisions will also be part of the racing program.

    August 15, 2014

Latest Sports Photos


Click here to browse and buy photos from The Herald Bulletin

Latest Racing News