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Posted at 11:31 AM ET, 09/06/2011

Without Peyton Manning, Tony Dungy doesn’t like Colts’ playoff chances

Peyton Manning and Kerry Collins confer. (Tony Tribble / AP)
Peyton Manning’s remarkable string of starts isn’t the only streak that’s in jeopardy this week. The Indianapolis Colts have been in the playoffs every season since 2002, but, without Manning, Tony Dungy questions whether that will end this year.

Dungy, who coached the Colts for seven years and moved to TV after the 2008 season, was asked his opinion on the Colts’ playoff-worthiness on the “Dan Patrick Show.”

“I would say no, because I would be concerned about Peyton Manning,” Dungy said. “Just the fact that he may miss one game tells me that this is fairly serious.”

It all depends on how many games Manning misses and how well Kerry Collins fills in, which isn’t exactly rocket science. The Colts’ first opponent Sunday, right out of the gate, is a particularly important one from the AFC South, the Houston Texans, and Manning’s return is uncertain. With the longest active consecutive starts streak in the NFL, he has not fully recovered from surgery May 23 to repair a disk and nerve problem in his neck. Although he is not on the physically-unable-to-perform list, Manning, the Colts said Monday, is “likely to be doubtful” Sunday because he has triceps and arm weakness and some soreness in his back.

“I think it all depends on Peyton Manning,” Dungy said. “If he misses a lot of time I think it’s going to be very difficult for them to make it. If he misses one or two games, I think they still will win the division.”

By  |  11:31 AM ET, 09/06/2011

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