They got even better news after the game, when coach Jim Caldwell said that Peyton could soon be back.
“I would say that it’s certainly a realistic possibility here and it could happen shortly,” Caldwell said regarding whether Manning will be activated shortly from the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Of course, leaving the PUP list and lining up in Week One against the Texans are two different issues. If he’s not removed from the PUP list before September 3, he’ll have to miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season. So he could be activated, but also unavailable.
Then there’s the possibility that, if Peyton Manning can show that he’ll be ready to go by the start of the season, newcomer Kerry Collins will get a visit from the Turk a/k/a Reggie Wayne.
That would be a pretty big surprise, but not as much of a surprise as Collins’ arrival was.
UPDATE (2:11 p.m. ET): Collins likely isn’t going anywhere. His $4 million compensation for 2011 is fully guaranteed. He’s also due to earn a non-guaranteed $10 million in 2012.