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Colts have depth at receiver after 2010 injuries

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ANDERSON, Ind. (AP)

(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.)By CLIFF BRUNTAP Sports Writer

Colts quarterback Peyton Manning spent much of last season throwing to people the average fan had never heard of because his more familiar weapons were out with injuries.

Now, the injured players are back, the no-names have made names for themselves and the Colts are stacked.

Tight end Dallas Clark missed most of last season with a wrist injury, Austin Collie missed significant time because of concussions and Anthony Gonzalez missed most of the season with a posterior cruciate ligament injury in his left knee.

Those mishaps opened the door for Jacob Tamme and Blair White.

Tamme caught 67 passes for 631 yards and four touchdowns in Clark's place. White caught 36 passes for 355 yards and five scores. Along with starters Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon, they form one of the league's deepest receiving corps.

''We have a lot of good players, a lot of guys that have made plays on the football field, a lot of guys that you just have so much confidence playing with playing,'' Tamme said.

Clark caught 100 passes all by himself in 2009. Coach Jim Caldwell wouldn't mind pairing Clark and Tamme at times after they combined to catch 104 passes last season.

''We have a number of different packages that we can utilize both of them at the same time, some of them separate from one another, but nevertheless, both guys are a real threat catching the ball and running with it for us,'' he said. ''Dallas has been great over the years, and Jacob had an outstanding year last year, very capable guy.''

Tamme first made an impression on the Colts as a special teams player. Now, he has earned more time on offense.

''On a smaller level, I want to take it one practice at a time,'' he said. ''That's how we'll do it as a team, and that's how I'll do it as a player. Coming out here every day trying to get a little better, and whatever my role is, my role is. I certainly hope to be a big part of helping us reach our goals.''

Tamme understands that his role might be reduced this season.

''I've never been a guy who's been obsessed with my role,'' he said. ''Obviously, I want to help the team, I want to win games, I want to get to a Super Bowl and get a ring.''

White has missed the preseason with a back injury but expects to be ready for the season.

Taj Smith, who hasn't caught a regular-season pass, caught a 44-yard touchdown pass from Dan Orlovsky in Indianapolis' 33-10 preseason loss to the St. Louis Rams on Saturday.

Reggie Wayne caught 111 passes for 1,355 yards and six touchdowns last season while Garcon caught 67 passes for 784 yards and six scores.

Whether this becomes one of Peyton Manning's most productive seasons depends on his recovery from a neck injury that has kept him out of action so far. The veteran quarterback is on the physically unable to perform list, though the team expects him to be ready by the opener at Houston on Sept. 11.

''What I can tell you is that he's rehabbing extremely well and is coming along,'' Caldwell said. ''The doctors have him on pace and they'll make the determination at some point when he can get out (and start) doing something for us.''

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Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/cliffbruntap

Tagged: Reggie Wayne, Peyton Manning, Dallas Clark, Colts, Jacob Tamme, Blair White

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