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November 5, 2012

Pagano inspires Colts

Ailing coach spoke to squad before and after victory over Miami.

Indianapolis — Chuck Pagano made a couple emotional appearances in the Indianapolis Colts’ locker room before and after Sunday’s game with the Miami Dolphins.

It was Pagano’s first appearance at a Colts game since being diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia in September. The Indianapolis coach was released from the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center a couple of weeks ago after undergoing his initial round of chemotherapy treatment.

He had been undergoing outpatient care at his home and is scheduled to begin a second round of chemotherapy this week.

“To get everyone up to speed, Chuck was obviously at the game. He was good enough to speak to the team before the game and then obviously we just had a great locker room moment with him,” interim coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians confirmed after the game.

“He’s about to undertake a very, very serious week of his treatment, but he’ll bounce back, we know he will.”

While Arians didn’t want to go into details about what Pagano said before the game, the team did release video of the coach’s comments in the winning locker room on its website Sunday night.

“It was a very personal message to the team. Circumstances are what they are, you’ve got to make the best of them and you’ve got to fight. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell,” Arians said, adding that the team didn’t award a game ball to its stricken coach.

“No he didn’t want one. He got his game ball on that scoreboard.”

Say what?

Referee Tony Corrente may have some explaining to do to National Football League officials after what transpired with his on-field microphone during the course of Sunday’s game.

In the first half, Corrente either left his mike on or was having trouble with it as fans in the stadium and media in the press box heard his conversation with his officiating crew. But the conversation got a lot saltier in the second half as he let loose with several expletives as he argued with other officials over placement of the ball after a penalty.  

When asked by a media representative after the game about his comments, Corrente offered up a brisk, “No comment.” But former NFL head of officials Mike Pereira, who now is an analyst for Fox Sports, tweeted that he expects Corrente to receive a call from the league.

Injuries

The Colts came into Sunday’s game with Miami missing cornerback Vontae Davis (knee) and rookie tight end Coby Fleener (shoulder).

In the aftermath of the 23-20 win, several more names were added to the injury list. Cornerback Jerraud Powers (toe), offensive tackle Winston Justice (knee), outside linebacker Robert Mathis (back), center Samson Satele (back) and wide receiver Donnie Avery (hip flexor) were all sidelined during the game and did not return.

Mathis was in his first game back after missing three weeks with a sprained knee. Running back Donald Brown was active but saw limited playing time after he experience some swelling in his knee. Brown played against Tennessee a week earlier after undergoing minor knee surgery.

Notes

The Colts’ current three-game winning streak is the franchise’s longest since 2010 (Weeks 13-16, four games). The Colts improved their home record to 4-1 this season and have won four consecutive games against the Dolphins dating back to 2003.

Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck set league and team single-game passing marks in the win over Miami. Luck became the second rookie in NFL history to record four 300-yard passing games (Peyton Manning, 1998).

His 433 passing yards mark the third-highest total in a single game in franchise history. His total sits behind Manning’s record of 472 against Kansas City on Oct. 31, 2004 and his total of 440 yards versus Jacksonville on Sept. 25, 2000. The Colts finished with 419 net passing yards, which is tied for the fifth highest total in franchise history and the most since Sept. 12, 2010 against Houston (419).

Luck’s first-half passing total of 273 yards is the fourth-highest total in franchise history for a first half (Manning, 324 vs. Buffalo on Sept. 23, 2001). He also became the second player this season with 270-plus passing yards in the first half (Drew Brees, 314 in Week 7 vs. Tampa Bay).

He set career highs in passing yards (433) and attempts (48), tied a career-high in touchdown passes (two) and totaled his second-highest amount in completions (30).

Wide receiver Reggie Wayne, with his touchdown catch Sunday, surpassed Edgerrin James (75) for third place on the franchise’s all-time touchdowns list. Wayne also passed James (458) for seventh place on the team’s all-time scoring list.

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