Building on weeks of speculation about Peyton Manning’s health, the Indianapolis Colts signed quarterback Kerry Collins this morning. I, like most Colts fans, have mixed feelings about this move.
On one hand, I think it is awesome that the team finally has someone capable of stepping in and leading an offense should Manning be unavailable, for any reason, at some point during the season. Gone, at least for now, are the days of Curtis Painter and Jim Sorgi and Dan Orlovsky, who can’t game manage their way out of a paper bag. Collins is an established talent, and he has risen to the level of legitimate star a few times during his career. Although he is 38 now, Collins had a 2:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio and made several starts last year. His presence should let the Colts move one of Painter or Orlovsky to the practice squad and to jettison the other.
On the other hand, I’m feeling pretty queasy about the looming season opener against Houston on September 11. While Manning may still plan to play that day, the Collins signing indicates that Colts brass, and probably Manning himself, have some serious concerns about his neck. If Manning is out for awhile, Collins can probably keep the team afloat. If Manning is out for an extended period, Collins probably isn’t enough to make the Colts elite.
Scary days, Colts fans!