TORONTO - Missing in action: Dwayne Bowe and Reggie Wayne.
The Chiefs and the Indianapolis receivers were non-contributors in their club’s losses at the weekend.
David Akers meantime could only wish he had been a non-contributor to the Eagles’ demise.
There is bitterness in Kansas City, recrimination in Indianapolis and a group hug in Philly as players went through weekend flashbacks.
Akers missed two field goals but teammates had his back Monday claiming personal health issues within his family may have contributed to the normally sure-footed kicker’s performance.
“He was dealing with a lot of stuff this week,” linebacker Quintin Mikell said, “and for him to even be out here was big. He fought through a lot today and this week.” Neither Akers nor his agent would confirm personal issues hampered his play.
Akers, 36, has a career 86.9% success rate, one of the best ever in the NFL.
“I just don’t want to hurt (my team). Any opportunity I go out there, I want to do well for them. I really feel bad for my teammates, coaches, the organization and all that,” Akers told reporters after the game.
Wayne was miffed at more than himself after being held by Darrelle Revis to just one catch for one yard. “It’s bull. It’s bull, man,” Wayne told The Indianapolis Star. “I give everything I’ve got no matter what. Every day, I give it everything. And ... one ball, that’s all.”
Quarterback Peyton Manning targetted him just once but was defended by head coach Jim Caldwell.
“Obviously, Reggie was expressing some disappointment in not getting it more,” Caldwell said. “All our quarterback does is read through his progressions and do his normal thing. It was just one of those games.”
Wayne hadn’t been held to one reception in a game since September 2004. “I shouldn’t have even suited up,” Wayne said. “I should have watched the game like everybody else. I was irrelevant.”
Bowe failed to make a single catch against the Ravens. Unlike Wayne, he just didn’t show up to talk about it.
“He wants the ball. He wants to compete. It’s very difficult, not only for us but for him,” said teammate Dexter McCluster.
In New Orleans, meantime, the Saints may go marching out. Jeremy Shockey and Reggie Bush have contract numbers that are bigger than their game and both could be replaced. Safety Darren Sharper and running back Pierre Thomas are free agents and could’ve played their last game. Even Drew Brees is entering his contract season.
So, it’s all over except the crying for a lot of players, for a lot of reasons.