When Chuck Pagano spoke to Reggie Wayne on the morning after a season-ending knee injury the Indianapolis Colts coach became emotional at the thought of losing his Pro Bowl receiver.

But Pagano came away from that conversation with a feeling of confidence.

“You just look in the man’s eyes” Pagano said. “When he tells me he’s going to do something I can just look in his eyes. I’ve known him a long time and watched him work over the years. He says he’ll be back. I trust he’ll be back.”

Wayne who turns 35 next month has a streak of 189 consecutive games played. He suffered a torn right anterior cruciate ligament in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win over the Denver Broncos. That injury typically requires surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation that would extend well into the offseason.

An emotional Pagano stood at a podium announcing the news during his Monday press conference and through his unsteady voice the impact of this loss was clear.

“We’ve known each other for a long long time” Pagano said. “The way he is the first thing out of his mouth is he feels like he let his teammates down because he can’t be there now. That’s how unselfish this guy is. Like I told you he could give a hoot about the numbers all that stuff. He just wants to play and help us win a championship. That’s what he’s dealing with right now. I don’t feel any worse than the rest of the guys in the locker room and our owner on down ... about what happened to him. It’s a travesty.”

Wayne’s loss affects the Colts on and off the field.

“He is more than a teammate” quarterback Andrew Luck said. “I think undoubtedly unquestionably he has been the leader of our offense and one of the great leaders of this team.”

Despite Pagano’s and Wayne’s ambitious prediction that Wayne will return to action that day won’t come for quite some time. For now the Colts have to play their remaining nine games without Wayne in the receiving corps for the first time since Nov. 25 2001 — the last time Wayne missed a game.