Peyton Manning has never missed a start in his NFL career. But as he continues to recover from offseason neck surgery, the Colts are growing increasingly concerned that Manning won’t be ready to go when the regular season begins in three weeks.
Colts owner Jim Irsay wrote on Twitter that the team is evaluating the quarterback situation because it needs to be prepared for the possibility of playing without Manning early in the season.
“We r evaluating the QB sitch,#18 healing but we got 2 b prepared 4 early season possibility without him,defense has 2 pick it up,big time!” Irsay wrote.
Irsay then asked fans on Twitter to offer their suggestions for who the Colts could sign to hold down the fort if Manning can’t play early in the season. That’s not much of a vote of confidence for Dan Orlovsky and Curtis Painter, the two quarterbacks who have had the bulk of the work during training camp and the preseason. But given the way Orlovsky and Painter have played so far in the preseason, they don’t deserve a vote of confidence.
Manning is currently on the Physically Unable to Perform list, and it’s been widely expected that he’ll be activated before the start of the regular season. But if he isn’t, he’ll have to miss the first six games.
That would be a disaster for the Colts. There’s obviously no one they could acquire before the start of the regular season who could play at anything even close to Manning’s level.
If Manning can’t play at the start of the season, the Colts are in deep, deep trouble. That Irsay is openly talking about that possibility is reason for Colts fans to panic.