INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay says his team must be prepared to start the season without injured quarterback Peyton Manning, and the club might need to find a veteran backup.
Irsay posted his comments Saturday morning on his Twitter account, less than 12 hours after the Colts lost their eighth straight preseason game.
"We r evaluating the QB sitch,(hash)18 healing but we must 2 b prepared 4 early season possibility without him,defense has 2 pick it up,big time!," Irsay wrote.
During a conference call with reporters, coach Jim Caldwell was asked again when he expected Manning to be back. Caldwell still hasn't provided a timeline for Manning's return and says Manning still hasn't been cleared to practice.
"Bottom line, we truly do not know when he will be ready," Colts president Bill Polian said. "Once the nerves regenerate properly, he'll be ready. When that happens, he'll be ready to ramp up immediately. It's impossible to predict."
Curtis Painter, Manning's backup, has started both preseason games.
"Our whole focus is to be as good as we can be until he's back," Polian said of Manning. "That's all there is to that. We're going through the tape of (Friday night's) game right now. We've had a lot of problems the first two games that had almost northing to do with the quarterback. We've got to get some things straightened out with our O-line and our defense has been bad so far."
Polian gave no indication whether another veteran quarterback was under consideration.
As to Irsay's public tweets about suggestions about a veteran backup quarterback, Polian said, "Our owner is the owner. I can't speak to that."
Former Colts backup Jim Sorgi is a free agent should the team opt to sign another quarterback. Sorgi lives in Indianapolis but has not been contacted by Colts.
He spent 2010 with the New York Giants but missed the season when he suffered a preseason injury that required surgery on a torn capsule and labrum in his shoulder. He began throwing in December but declined a one-year contract offer before training camp to rejoin the Giants.
Sorgi's agent, Matt Brei, said the quarterback was throwing "very well" during the offseason and the 6-foot-5 passer had gotten his weight to beyond 230 pounds. Sorgi had always been considered underweight in the low 200s. Brei said Sorgi's decision not to rejoin the Giants was personal and had nothing to do with any medical issue.
Another veteran quarterback that is available is Kerry Collins, whom Polian drafted as a first-round pick in 1995 with the Carolina Panthers. The Colts offered Collins a backup quarterback position in 2006 but he chose the Titans because of a better opportunity to play. However, Collins turned down a chance to return to the Titans this season because he said his heart was not into investing the time in learning a new offense. He would have to learn a new offense with the Colts.[/quote]
Polian is so overrated. Manning completely makes that team successful, they are a mess otherwise, one of the least physical teams in the league. If they don't get a lead early they have nothing.
Indy fans, especially the very young ones, have never known anything other than Colts success - they think their team is divinely chosen to always be great. Once Manning is gone that is going to be one of the worst teams in the league for many years (just as it was pre-Manning and pre-Harbaugh). Poor naive middle Americans are going to be very disappointed when they find out their team is actually fallible.