Critics might point to the absence of offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who was hospitalized at a Baltimore-area hospital Sunday morning with serious flu-like symptoms, but wide receiver Reggie Wayne downplayed the impact of having quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen fill in for Arians.
“He’s our offensive coordinator, [but] we were still alright, and we had our opportunities today,” said Wayne, who led Indianapolis with nine catches for 114 yards. “This is his offense, he put it together, and he has a knack for it. So I wish we would have had him, but we didn’t.”
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Arians’ sudden illness came on the heels of head coach Chuck Pagano returning to the team in time for last Sunday’s regular-season finale after undergoing chemotherapy to fight cancer.
But Christensen is a former Colts offensive coordinator, and Pagano expressed his confidence in Christensen’s play-calling.
“We all wanted Bruce to be here today,” said Pagano, a former Ravens defensive coordinator. “Certainly he wanted to be there. But this team has been through so much. It’s been the next man up, and Clyde jumped right in and filled that same role that all the players that stepped in and did the same thing for us and this organization in my absence. For us, it was just another example of next man up, and Clyde did a tremendous job and the rest of the offensive coaches. From a score standpoint and all that, I don’t look at that. I look at the job that they did. We’d have loved to have Bruce there, but credit those guys to stepping up to the plate and showing up.”