When comedian Jim Gaffigan helped close the Indiana State Fair Sunday night, he had good buddy Pat McAfee introduce him.
Gaffigan actually wanted the entertaining Indianapolis Colts punter to open with a set, but McAfee declined and stuck to a biographical intro on the main event.
“Jim and I have been friends for a couple of years now,” McAfee said. “Two weeks ago, he sends me a direct message on Twitter and says, ‘Hey, man, I don’t know what your schedule is but I’m going to be at the Indiana State Fair. You should intro me.' I said, ‘I don’t know what the hell that is, but I’m in.'
“I told his life story. He wanted me to do a set. I said, ‘Jim, you’re a clean comic and I don’t want to offend anybody you’ve got.’ I just gave a little four-minute intro then he came out and gave one of the best 60-minute sets I’ve ever seen. I laughed the entire time. One hundred percent clean comedy. It was a lot of fun.”
McAfee didn’t regret not doing a set. He’s a funny guy, known for sharing his amusing observations on Twitter with 207,098 followers. He changed his Twitter inset picture to a snapshot with Gaffigan. But McAfee will stick to punting.
“It was really cool to be on the same stage that Jim Gaffigan was on,” he said.
Inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman, who has led the Colts in tackles the past two seasons, returned to practice the past two days. Out of commission due to a thumb injury, Freeman was wearing a red jersey, which signifies a non-contact player.
Wide receiver Reggie Wayne has been going through the daily routine as well although neither GM Ryan Grigson nor head coach Chuck Pagano would say if Wayne will make his preseason debut Saturday. Wayne is considered a “game-time decision.”
Running back Ahmad Bradshaw was glad to ditch his red jersey this week. While he’s in the same boat as Wayne — the team will decide his playing status on game day — Bradshaw says he’s ready to get some snaps.
Meaningful preseason game?
Starters are expected to play at least one half against New Orleans, the typical preseason routine for the third game. The Saints will be a formidable foe at Lucas Oil Stadium, which should make this primetime game as close to the regular season as the players will see.
Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky echoed Pagano’s Tuesday sentiments that the Saints will provide an ideal challenge.
“It’s always the third preseason game anyway when you play,” Manusky said Wednesday. “That third game is usually the vital one. A majority of the time (starters) play the first half, a little bit into the third. So it will be a good test.”
Asked how the Colts will defend Jimmy Graham, one of the NFL’s best tight ends, Manusky said, “Put two guys on him as many times as you can.”
The Colts initially waived placekicker Cody Parkey Tuesday, but rescinded the transaction prior to the 4 p.m. deadline so he could be traded to Philadelphia for rookie running back David Fluellen. To make room for Fluellen, the team waived running back Phillip Tanner.
Roster tinkering continued Wednesday as linebacker Shawn Loiseau was waived-injured and replaced by linebacker Robert Ruggiero. If Loiseau clears waivers, he would revert to the team’s injured reserve list.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.