INDIANAPOLIS – The last time we saw Cassius Vaughn, he was sprinting like a madman, trying to catch Jacksonville wide receiver Cecil Shorts III before he crushed the Indianapolis Colts' spirit.
Vaughn, a Colts cornerback, caught Shorts with impressing closing speed, but it was too late. Shorts had an 80-yard touchdown catch and, 56 seconds later, a win.
With Vontae Davis questionable because of an ankle injury, Vaughn could be back on the field Sunday, starting opposite Jerraud Powers.
He won't be thinking about that last time.
“You remember it, but you don't dwell on it,” Vaughn said. “You can't. That game was done last Monday (Sept. 24). That was tough. At the end, it was on us and we kind of let down a little bit, but you have to let it go.”
Here's another reason the Colts limping secondary can't look back at the previous game's disastrous ending: Aaron Rogers and the Green Bay Packers are in town. They are, of course, a Super Bowl contender. They have, of course, as many weapons in the passing game (Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley, Randall Cob, James Jones, Donald Driver), even without injured Greg Jennings, as any team in the NFL.
Rodgers is seen by many as being off to a slow start – in part because he's been sacked 16 times. But here's the rub: Rodgers has completed an NFL-best 69.9 percent of his passes (109-156) for 1,064 yards and seven touchdowns to three interceptions.
When Rodgers has time, he connects.
“This is one of those opportunities you live for,” Vaughn said. “For me, being undrafted, coming where I've come from, being with this team and that team, the opportunity is great. What better team to play than the Green Bay Packers? But it's just another game and you have to prepare for it like that. You can't put too much pressure on one game. Next week, it'll be somebody else.”
Vaughn, 24, came to the Colts in an offseason trade that send fullback Chris Gronkowski to the Denver Broncos. In two years with the Broncos after entering the NFL out of the University of Mississippi, Vaughn played in 22 games, starting three. He had two primary highlights, both against the San Diego Chargers. He returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown in 2010 and an interception for 55 yards for a score last season.
Vaughn has returned six punts for 164 yards (27.3 per return) for the Colts this season. He has yet to make a tackle.
“Special teams can change the game,” Vaughn said. “They have Randall Cobb, but we have T.Y. Hilton, (LaVon) Brazill and myself. We have guys who can change the game, too.”
Vaughn doesn't know if he'll be returning punts if he steps into the starting cornerback spot. Unless Davis or Justin King are healthy enough to play, Vaughn will have to handle his biggest defensive assignment since joining the Colts.
“You have to accept the challenge and be ready for it,” Vaughn said. “I didn't come here not to be challenged. I'll go out there and expect to do it. You never know how good you are until you go up against the best.”