ANDERSON, Ind. — Reggie Wayne wants the Colts to live this season in the fast lane.
The perennial Pro Bowl receiver hitched a ride to training camp Wednesday with two-time Indianapolis 500 pole winner Ed Carpenter to deliver one clear message: The team that starts fast and finishes strong the most times is going to win the Super Bowl race.
“I think it’s meant to come out fast, to have a sense of urgency,” Wayne said after climbing out of the two-seat Indy car that revved its engines at every stop light during the 41/2-mile drive across town. “This is one way for us to come out with a motto for the team.”
It was a perfect pairing.
Carpenter, a longtime Colts fan, knows all about fast starts. He won the past two Indy poles with four-lap averages of 231 mph and 229 mph.
Wayne is no stranger to splashy entrances. A year ago, he flew to camp in an Indiana University Health Lifeline helicopter with a young man who was recovering from a serious farm accident. Two years ago, Wayne dressed in camouflage fatigues as part of a military convoy. Before that, he came in a dump truck, a bus and another time shared a taxi with close friend and former teammate Edgerrin James. Heck, he even showed up in 2006 wearing James’ new jersey after the Colts’ career rushing leader signed with Arizona in free agency.
Wayne’s choice of transportation also came with a point — everything from dreaming big to being a work in progress to taking care of one another’s backs. But with Wayne entering the final year of his contract and trying to return from a torn ACL at age 35, this year’s symbolism was understandably mixed.
His intention was to demonstrate that Indy had to rid itself of the early-game struggles from 2013 and ease the late-game pressure on Andrew Luck, who already has 11 fourth-quarter wins in just two seasons.
Reporters also wondered whether the race car was intended to prove that he also has regained his wheels after nearly nine months of rehab.
“I guess you can look at it like that,” he said with a smile. “I do feel good, and hopefully I’ll come out and pick up where I left off.”
Wayne said he has been medically cleared to practice, but doctors and coaches have been cautious about pushing him with workouts set to begin Thursday.
Mathieu out for start of camp
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu and nose tackle Alamdea Ta’amu will begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list as they recover from last season’s injuries.
Mathieu’s season ended in early December when he tore two knee ligaments while returning a free kick against St. Louis. No timetable has been set for his return.
Bowlen giving up control
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Even as dementia began to rob him of some of his fondest memories over the past few years, Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen reported to work every day to oversee multimillion-dollar upgrades to the team’s training facilities and roster.
So his absence from Dove Valley headquarters on Wednesday as players reported for physicals on the eve of training camp was as jarring as the announcement that the 70-year-old Bowlen was giving up control of the team because of Alzheimer’s disease.
“This place will never be the same,” a choked-up general manager John Elway said. “... It’s going to be very hard to not see him walk through the front doors every day.”
Team president Joe Ellis is adding the title of chief executive officer and will have final say on all matters.
Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden said DE Jason Hatcher, who is recovering from knee surgery, will be sidelined when training camp practice begins Thursday. ... Seattle Seahawks WR Sidney Rice is retiring from the after an injury-plagued career that included issues with concussions. ... The Cleveland Browns have signed CB Justin Gilbert, one of their first-round draft picks, to a four-year, $12.8 million contract.. ... Pro Bowl RB Jamaal Charles has reached a two-year contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs, according to a person familiar with the contract.
said Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the team has not disclosed details. He is now expected to take part in the first practice scheduled for Thursday.