Peyton Manning may be out for the season and Kerry Collins is still dealing with concussion-like symptoms five days after getting knocked out of his last start against Pittsburgh. With few other options, the Indianapolis Colts will turn to 26-year-old Curtis Painter to lead their sputtering offense into a Monday night matchup with Tampa Bay.
Painter — who completed 5 of 11 passes for 60 yards and fumbled after replacing Collins last week — will make his first career start on national television as the Colts try to avoid an 0-4 start.
The decision by the Colts’ coaching staff will appease at least one frustrated receiver who has been stumping for the shaggy-haired kid from New Orleans since the preseason.
When the Colts initially signed Collins to keep Manning’s seat warm, Wayne was not a fan. On Thursday, Manning’s favorite target reiterated that sentiment on Michael Irvin’s radio show on WQAM in Miami (via Pro Football Talk):
“It took me two years to learn this offense,” Wayne said. “Now, you mean to tell me you’re gonna bring in somebody and he’s gonna learn it in 18 days? That just didn’t sit right. That just didn’t sit right with me. And I know we had Curtis Painter who’d been here for three years. You just gotta give him a shot. We gotta give him a chance.”
Indianapolis coach Jim Caldwell said Collins — who owns a miserable 65.9 QB rating through three games — would not practice Friday and his status for Saturday’s game would be evaluated on Saturday.
Manning remains on the team’s active roster despite many believing he will miss the entire season following multiple neck surgeries over the last year. The Colts signed veteran backup Dan Orlovsky earlier this week for roster depth at the position.