The Indianapolis Colts could be preparing to start the season without 4-time NFL MVP quarterback Peyton Manning at the helm, which would be the first time he did not line up as the starter since being drafted number one overall in 1998.
Manning underwent off-season neck surgery, and had be been given the necessary recovery time with team doctors and trainers, claims he would have had no issues being ready for week one of the 2011 season.
The lockout of course kept Manning away from all of the Colts staff for over four months.
Should Manning not make the start it would end the quarterbacks long standing streak of 227 consecutive starts. That mark is good enough to rank him second all-time behind only Brett Favre in the NFL record books.
Today the Colts announed they had reached an agreement with 17 year NFL veteran quarterback Kerry Collins to backup Manning should he indeed not play. It’s an insurance policy, but also indicates the Colts are very worried about Manning’s availability.
Collins entered the league as a first-round draft choice in 1995 with the Carolina Panthers. He spent only three seasons with the Carolina before he “quit” the team and was placed on waivers.
He also spent time with the New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, and most recently the last five seasons with the Tennessee Titans.
Collins announced his retirement on July 7, 2011 after stating he had no desire to mentor the Titans first round pick, quarterback Jake Locker.
He wanted a guarantee from Tennessee that he would be the starter, but they were un-willing to commit to Collins as the number one.
Collins has completed 3,439 of 6,163 passes (55.8 percent) for 40,441 yards with 206 touchdowns and 195 interceptions as he enters what will officially be his 17th season in the league.
Meanwhile the Saints released some very positive news regarding injuries to two key players — left guard Carl Nicks and rookie running back Mark Ingram.
Nicks injured his knee during Saturday’s preseason loss to the Houston Texans. The injury is being called a contusion (bad bruise) but was severe enough to hamper him in practice early Monday.
The Saints coaching staff pulled Nicks to perform more tests, and replaced him in the lineup with center/guard Matt Tennant.
All the tests came back negative for any damage, so he should not miss any significant time, although he has been listed as inactive for the upcoming game against the Raiders.
Rookie sensation Mark Ingram practiced in full Monday afternoon but was notably absent at Tuesday’s practice.
Head coach Sean Payton later confirmed Ingram was held out strictly as a precautionary measure after he experienced swelling in his surgically repaired knee.
He will likely be held out of practice today, and possibly tomorrow, but unlike Nicks he is expected to suit up against Oakland this Sunday.