This was supposed to be the year. 2009 was going to mark the emergence of 3rd year receiver Anthony Gonzalez as a legitimate #2 wideout for Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. While all is not lost, it certainly will be delayed. Last weekend, in the Colts season opening 14-12 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium, Gonzalez went down to the turf with what is now being classified as sprained ligaments in his right knee.
The upside is that at this point surgery will not be required. The not so upside is that #11 will be sidelined anywhere from 2-8 weeks with the big money on the latter. So where do our boys in blue turn in such times of trouble? The recently released NFL veterans scrap heap that’s where. Sitting on top of said heap was newly released wide receiver Hank Baskett, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Baskett has four years of NFL experience under his belt and played in the Eagles season opener last week. It was not so much that Hank was not cutting it in Philly, but rather, with an influx of new younger talent that was added to the Eagles receiving corp he no longer was needed. Hopefully the City of Brotherly Love’s loss will prove to be the Circle City‘s gain.
Baskett brings with him career numbers of 72 receptions for 1052 yards (14.6 avg.) and six touchdowns in 42 career games. Hank is also a receiver with some size. Listed at 6-4 220lbs, he will give Manning a good target to throw at. Baskett will have some serious on-the-job training starting this Monday night, when the Colts travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins. While Hank plays catch-up with the offensive playbook, this is a great oppurtunity for two young Indianapolis receivers to strut their stuff. Second year receiver Pierre Garcon and rookie Austin Collie will try and make a name for themselves while Gonzalez is on the mend.