INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 27, 2006) -- Colts receiver Reggie Wayne is expected to return to Indianapolis on Sept. 28 and could be available to play against the New York Jets.
Wayne left town Sept. 24 after finding out his older brother, Rashad, was killed in a traffic accident that day in Kenner, La. Reggie Wayne has been in Louisiana all week to help the family make funeral arrangements.
"The last conversation I had with him, he said he'd be back in Indianapolis sometime tomorrow," coach Tony Dungy said Sept. 27. "Right now, I think he will play."
Dungy was not sure whether Wayne would return in time for the Sept. 28 practice.
Wayne's 32-year-old brother was killed Sept. 24 when the delivery truck he was driving crashed into a highway guardrail. Police said Rashad Wayne was pronounced dead at the scene.
Linebacker Cato June, one of Wayne's closest friends, said he thought Wayne would try to play against the Jets.
"He's doing as best he can," June said. "If he's feeling well enough, I'm sure he'll come back and play. If not, everyone understands that family comes first."
Wayne is one of the key components in the Colts' high-scoring offense.
Last year, Wayne caught a career-high 83 passes to lead the Colts. It was the first time someone other than Marvin Harrison led the Colts in receptions since 1998, Manning's rookie season. Harrison had 82 receptions in 2005.
In the first three games this year, Wayne has caught 14 passes for 284 yards and is fourth in the NFL in yards receiving.
Quarterback Peyton Manning said he understood the funeral might be on a Tuesday, a day most teams have off in the NFL.
"I have talked to him, and I told him we're praying for him and thinking about him," Manning said. "I know he's going through a tough time and whatever he wants to do, he'll do. But I expect him to play."
Dungy has said that the team would try to get as many players, coaches and team officials to the funeral in Louisiana as they could, and he and Manning said they wanted to attend.
It's the second tragedy to hit the Colts in less than a year. Last December, Dungy's oldest son, 18-year-old James, committed suicide in a Florida apartment.