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4 former Colts players among Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalists

Wide receivers Reggie Wayne and Andre Johnson, and defensive stars Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are semifinalists for the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2009, file photo, Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne, right, reaches out while attempting a catch under the defense of Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Derek Cox in the second half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis. Safety Troy Polamalu, wide receiver Reggie Wayne and linebacker Patrick Willis are first-year eligible players among the 25 semifinalists of the modern era for the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/AJ Mast, File)

CANTON, Ohio — The top two sack leaders in Indianapolis Colts history are semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney were among 28 modern day semifinalists for the Hall of Fame's class of 2023. Mathis recorded 123 sacks in his career, with Freeney close behind at 107 1/2. 

The pair is joined by former Colts wide receivers Reggie Wayne and Andre Johnson on the semifinalist list. 

Freeney is among five first-time semifinalists. He is joined by four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis, offensive linemen Jahri Evans and Joe Thomas and linebacker James Harrison. Each last played in the 2017 season.

Henry Ellard and London Fletcher are semifinalists for the first time. Albert Lewis, a semifinalist in 2013, is also on the list. Ellard, who retired following the 1998 season, and Lewis, who also retired in 1998, are in their final year of eligibility as modern era players.

Torry Holt returns for the ninth time, Hines Ward and Darren Woodson are semifinalists for the seventh time and Ronde Barber makes the list for the sixth time. Zach Thomas is a fifth-timer and James Willis and Wayne are back for a fourth time.

Eric Allen, Jared Allen, Willie Anderson, Anquan Boldin, Rodney Harrison, Devin Hester, Johnson, Robert Mathis, Steve Smith Sr., Fred Taylor, DeMarcus Ware, Ricky Watters and Vince Wilfork complete the list.

The 28 semifinalists will be reduced to 15 finalists before the final voting process in January. The inductees will be announced on Feb. 9 during NFL Honors, the prime-time awards show when The Associated Press reveals its individual award winners for the 2022 NFL season, including Most Valuable Player and Coach of the Year.

Four finalists previously announced are Don Coryell in the coaching category, and Chuck Howley, Joe Klecko and Ken Riley in the senior category.


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