It’s becoming readily apparent that Peyton Manning’s National Football League-best streak of 227 consecutive starts (including playoffs) at quarterback could come to an end this week at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.
After Internet and social media websites reported Sunday night that the four-time NFL Most Valuable Player – who initially had surgery on May 23 to repair a bulging disc in his neck – might need to undergo an additional medical procedure, Indianapolis Colts officials felt the need to clarify his medical progress on Monday.
”During the last week, the rate of improvement in Peyton’s rehabilitation process slowed. Over the weekend Peyton experienced soreness in his back. It was originally thought to be a normal reaction to his rehabilitation regimen.
When the soreness persisted, the Colts medical team decided to initiate diagnostic tests and to consult with a number of specialists around the country who have been involved in Peyton’s case from the outset. That process continues,” the Colts said in a prepared statement.
“As a result of the most recent development, the doctors have decided that Peyton will not practice. His participation therefore, in Sunday’s game versus Houston, will likely be doubtful. We will update his playing status as required by NFL policy as the week goes on. At the conclusion of the diagnostic process, if there are any new developments in the prognosis which we outlined for Peyton at the start of training camp we will report them. As of now, Peyton continues to deal with a complicated neurological recovery, the end date of which is unpredictable. As was stated at the outset, it serves no useful purpose to speculate about hypothetical outcomes. When and if there are concrete medical facts to report, we will do so. We appreciate your consideration in this matter.”
Manning has not missed a game since coming into the National Football League as a rookie in 1998. While he has not officially been listed as out for the Texans game, veteran backup Kerry Collins is preparing as if he will take over the reins of the Indianapolis offense.
“I’m getting ready to play. That’s the bottom line. There’s a lot that we’re going to have to get ready for this week. I’m excited for the challenge and I’m going to bust my tail this week to get ready to play,” Collins said before the start of Monday afternoon’s practice.
Collins signed with the Colts two weeks ago and had just four practices under his belt before playing in the team’s final preseason game at Cincinnati last Thursday night. While Indianapolis coach Jim Caldwell has yet to make the final call as to which quarterback will line up behind center Jeff Saturday against Houston, the former 1995 first-round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers is getting ready.
“I’m going to prepare hard either way. Obviously with Peyton’s status still in question, I’m taking the mindset that I’m going to play on Sunday,” he said. “The more [practice repetitions] the better. I've worked in situations before where [a decision] comes down to the latter part of the week. To know sooner rather will definitely help my mind set going throughout the week.
"[Former Tennessee Titans coach] Jeff [Fisher] used to like to keep people waiting throughout the week to see if a starter was going to play, whether it was going to be [Vince] Young or me. But that's just part of it. In no way is that going to change my preparation. My preparation is going to be the same. I’m going to get in the meeting rooms, study, watch film and all that kind of thing to just get ready to play.”
Since arriving in Indianapolis, Collins has been forced to be a quick study in learning the Colts’ complicated offensive system. Even with quarterbacks coach Ron Turner tutoring him, the process hasn’t been an easy one.
“I feel comfortable with the offense. I feel like I’ve come a long way in a short time since I’ve been here. I’ve really buckled down and grinded on it. Certainly I’ve got a lot to learn. But as far as my comfort level, it’s pretty high,” he admitted.
So is Caldwell’s.
“He’s making really good progress and he’s working extremely hard at it. He’s been working overtime at it. That’s what this week is for. We can really focus in on what he’s going to have to do during the course of a game so that he’ll be fine,” the Colts coach said.
“It’s not as if we’re dealing with someone who hasn’t been in a lot of games. He’s played. He understands concepts and systems. And he’ll be able to function, I think, very, very well. I don’t expect him to be perfect. We have to have some other guys step up and give him some assistance here and there, which we have a lot of guys who can do that. I think he’ll be fine.”
As for any possible scaling back on the offensive game plan without Manning in the lineup, Caldwell won’t say what he’s planning to do.
"We’re going to do everything we possibly can just to make sure we cover as many bases as possible. You can’t get it all," he said. "It’s not an easy offense to come in and function in. So we have to make a few adjustments and changes to suit [Collins] as well.”
• Read the press release – When Caldwell was asked Monday about Manning's chance of playing Sunday in Houston, his response was somewhat expected.
“One of the things I think is good that we do is we put out a release to answer as many questions as we’re going to answer about those certain subjects, and that’s one of them,” the Colts coach said. “I think it states it pretty clearly all the things that we know, and when we have further details we’ll announce them at that time.”
• Tough on Manning – While much has been made of Manning’s consecutive start streak, possibly missing the Texans game is taking a mental toll on the quarterback.
“[He] loves to play. He loves to compete. He loves to practice. And anytime he’s out of that loop that’s going to be tough for him,” Caldwell said. “I think that’s just who he is. He’s always been a hard-working guy with a great zeal and zest for what he does and his profession.
“He doesn’t miss days, offseason or in season. You name it and he’s always there, and I’m certain that’s a commitment he made to the sport from the time he was a very little guy. He’s still carrying that on today.”
• Tressel delay – The Colts hired former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel to be a game-day advisor to Caldwell last Friday. But after a decision by Indianapolis officials Monday, Tressel won't officially start on the job until the seventh week of the season.
His addition to the coaching staff last week came as somewhat of a surprise and created a stir in the national media. Tressel resigned from OSU on May 30 after NCAA rules violations came to light. Ex-Buckeyes quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who was selected by Oakland in the NFL's supplemental draft, will sit out the first five games of the season.
"After the announcement of Coach Jim Tressel’s agreement to join the Colts as a game-day consultant, questions were raised with respect to the equity of his appointment as opposed to suspensions being served this season by present and former Ohio State players. Over the weekend Coach Tressel, [team owner] Mr. [Jim] Irsay, Coach Caldwell and I had a discussion of the issue," vice chairman Bill Polian said in a prepared statement.
"In addition, we had a conversation with league officials to apprise them of the details of Coach Tressel’s employment and the issues we were reviewing. At Coach Tressel's suggestion, and with Mr. Irsay’s concurrence and support, we have decided to begin Coach Tressel’s employment effective with our seventh regular season game. We have informed the league office of our decision and expect that they will be supportive of it. We are very happy Coach Tressel will be joining us.”
• Roster moves – Here's a look back at the players waived by the Colts this past weekend: S Al Afalava, P Travis Baltz, WR Chris Brooks, DE John Chick, LB Chris Colasanti, OG Kyle DeVan, TE Tyson DeVree, DT John Gill, WR David Gilreath, S Michael Hamlin, DT Tommie Harris, RB Javarris James, DB Brandon King, and C Jake Kirkpatrick.
Also, DT Ricardo Mathews, TE Michael Matthews, OG Jacques McClendon, WR Larrone Moore, LB Kerry Neal, DT Ollie Ogbu, QB Dan Orlovsky, WR Taj Smith (Waived/Injured), OT Mike Tepper, OT Michael Toudouze, LB Nate Triplett, LB Vuna Tuihalamaka, and WR Marshall Williams.
Indianapolis also signed five players to its practice squad: Gilreath, Mathews, Ogbu, Tepper and Williams. Indy also claimed RB Chris Gronkowski off waivers from Dallas and placed RB Chad Spann on injured reserve (hamstring).
• Injury list – WR Anthony Gonzalez (hamstring) and S Antoine Bethea (hamstring) both sat out Monday’s workout. Gonzalez and Bethea are hopeful of being available for the Texans game.
WR Austin Collie (foot), LB Gary Brackett (elbow) and OG Ryan Diem (elbow) all saw work in the practice. Diem will probably start at right offensive guard after sliding inside from right offensive tackle.
Colts QB may need more treatment
It’s becoming readily apparent that Peyton Manning’s National Football League-best streak of 227 consecutive starts (including playoffs) at quarterback could come to an end this week at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.
Luck having fun with his first OTAs
A year ago, quarterback Andrew Luck was unable to attend the Indianapolis Colts’ organized team activity practices due to school commitments at Stanford.
Luck, though, went on to have a stellar year for the Colts despite the lack of summer work with the team. Still, in a sense, he is a rookie during this year’s OTA workouts.
“These are my first OTAs. I missed these last year, so I think it’s great. It’s great to get on the field with the defense and trouble-shoot some stuff. Obviously, some of us ran some of this stuff [offense] at Stanford [under new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton]. But to get out there with the defense and trouble-shoot some stuff is good,” Luck said Wednesday as the team wrapped up its first week of on-field voluntary practice sessions.
Colts' coordinators enjoying getting rookies acclimated
While the Indianapolis Colts put their rookies and a handful of second-year players through workouts this weekend at the team’s Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, a pair of first-year coordinators are getting a chance to do some valuable on-field work as well.
Werner, 36 others open Colts’ mini camp
The Indianapolis Colts welcomed 37 players to the start of the team’s rookie mini camp Friday at the West 56th Street headquarters.
Colts hoping for more high marks on draft picks
A year ago, the Indianapolis Colts received high marks for the impact players the team added through the NFL draft.
Of the 10 players selected, five ended up either starting or seeing extensive playing time (quarterback Andrew Luck, tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and running back Vick Ballard) during the Colts’ 11-5 season.
While this year’s class may not rival that group in terms of name recognition and flash, it may produce just as many major contributors once the 2013 season gets underway.
Werner at top of game
Bjoern Werner was a late comer to football. But after being selected in the first round of the 2013 National Football League draft by the Indianapolis Colts, Werner realizes that he has reached the pinnacle of the sport in a relatively short amount of time.
Colts select pass rusher Werner in first round
The Indianapolis Colts selected Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner. The 6-foot-3, 266-pound defensive lineman can also play left outside linebacker.
Colts in wait-and-see mode for tonight’s NFL draft
As the 2013 NFL draft gets underway tonight at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the Indianapolis Colts are continuing their wait-and-see stance in regard to the first-round pick.
The draft begins at 8 p.m. — televised by the NFL Network and ESPN — with the Kansas City Chiefs making the night’s first selection. Teams will have 10 minutes to make their decisions during the first round. Indianapolis will have the 24th overall pick in the first round.
There will be only one round tonight. The second and third rounds are scheduled for Friday, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with seven minutes allotted per pick in the second round and five minutes allowed in the third. The final four rounds are slated to begin at noon Saturday with four minutes between selections.
As it stands now, Indianapolis does not have a second-round pick. It was traded to Miami last fall in exchange for veteran cornerback Vontae Davis. But second-year general manager Ryan Grigson has nut ruled out the possibility of trading down from the first round if the Colts aren’t satisfied with the players available.
Direction clear for Colts in 2013 draft
The Indianapolis Colts head into the 2013 NFL Draft with some definite plans.
Colts veteran among those excited to see Luck's growth in 2013-14
Veteran defensive end Cory Redding is a big fan — literally and figuratively — of Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck.
Redding, who has become one of the Colts’ lockerroom leaders after just one season with the team, thinks he has some reasonable expectations of Indianapolis’ former No. 1 draft pick.
Heyward-Bey feeling fortunate to hook up with Luck
Add one more player to the list of veteran free agents signed by the Indianapolis Colts this offseason.
Former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey agreed to a a deal with the Colts late Monday evening. Bey, who played collegiately at Maryland, was the seventh player selected in the first round of the 2009 National Football League draft.
Colts sign nose tackle
Another day, more player signings for the Indianapolis Colts.
Nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin agreed to terms with the Colts on Tuesday evening and officially signed with the team Wednesday. Franklin (6-1, 315) is a 10-year NFL veteran with stops in Baltimore (2003-06), San Francisco (2007-10), New Orleans (2011) and San Diego (2012).
Colts sign Matt Hasselbeck to back up Luck
The Indianapolis Colts’ roster moves just keep coming.
While the Colts haven’t yet added that big-name wide receiver that team owner Jim Irsay hinted at in tweets over the weekend, Indianapolis has addressed one area on offense.
Former Tennessee Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck had agreed Monday night to be the Colts’ primary back-up to second-year starter Andrew Luck. He officially signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the team Tuesday morning.
“We are very pleased to announce the signing of Matt Hasselbeck,” general manager Ryan Grigson said in a prepared statement. “His body of work, intangibles, and extensive league experience speak for themselves. Those factors, plus his familiarity with our offensive scheme, will make him a great asset to our team and its vision as we move forward.”
Colts likely done signing free agents, for now
With the possible exception of adding a few lesser-priced players, the Indianapolis Colts’ big-time foray into the veteran free-agent marketplace is pretty much done.
Landry, Jean Francois join Colts defensive unit
After adding five veteran free agent players to the Indianapolis Colts roster on Tuesday, general manager Ryan Grigson plucked two more plums late Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon.
New York Jets safety LaRon Landry and San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois both signed contracts with the Colts. Landry, a strong safety who appears to be a bigger version of former Indianapolis Pro Bowler Bob Sanders, and the versatile Jean-Francois are expected to make immediate impacts on the Colts’ defensive unit.
Colts introduce free-agent signees
What the Indianapolis Colts accomplished last season — posting an 11-5 record and earning an AFC wild-card berth with a young team plus having that kind of success without its head coach on the sidelines for 12 games — didn’t go unnoticed by players around the NFL.
That was especially true for the five veteran free agents who were added to the Colts’ roster Tuesday. Offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus (Detroit), cornerback Greg Toler (Arizona), outside linebacker Erik Walden (Green Bay), offensive guard Donald Thomas (New England) and linebacker Lawrence Sidbury (Atlanta) admitted as much Wednesday.
“I felt like this would be the best fit for me at this point in my career. I really liked what I saw was happening with the program here and the way things have taken shape. I feel like we have a really great team here and it’s on the rise. I really wanted to be a part of that,” Thomas said during a teleconference interview with the Colts’ media.
Colts sign five free agents, filling needs at offensive line, cornerback
The Indianapolis Colts were a busy team on the opening day of the National Football League’s veteran free agent market, which got underway at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Jeff Saturday retires as a Colt
An Indianapolis Colt for life. Pencil in Jeff Saturday for that honor.
The 14-year veteran center in the NFL put an official stamp on a career Thursday that began in Baltimore in 1998 and ended in Green Bay in 2012. But it was those 13 seasons in between — from 1999 to 2011 in which he played for Indianapolis — when Saturday earned his greatest rewards.
Saturday thrilled to retire as a Colt
The 14-year veteran center in the National Football League put an official stamp on a career Thursday that began in Baltimore in 1998 and ended in Green Bay in 2012. But it was those 13 seasons in-between — from 1999 to 2011 in which he played for Indianapolis — that Saturday earned his greatest rewards.
Saturday to retire as Colt on Thursday
Former Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday will make his retirement from the National Football League official on Thursday.
Indianapolis franchises punter McAfee
A week ago, Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano said it was a priority that the team retain the services of punter Pat McAfee.
McAfee, an unrestricted free agent who’s contract is due to expire March 12, was designated as the Colts’ franchise player Friday. The move allows Indianapolis extra time to work out a long-term deal for the team’s special-teams ace.
“He’s huge. He’s a major priority in free agency. Obviously, we’ve reached out and are working to get Pat re-signed,” Pagano said during the National Football Scouting Combine. “We saw what he did for us last year. He’s a great weapon, not only kickoffs and touchbacks.
Colts GM enjoying time at combine
Indianapolis Colts second-year general manager Ryan Grigson makes no bones about it. He enjoys watching prospective football players strut their stuff.
Colts keeping eye on large crop of talented linemen in NFL Draft
According to most National Football League draft observers, this year’s crop of prospects is deep with quality offensive and defensive linemen.
Among the offensive line candidates who have been showcasing their talents at the National Football Scouting Combine, which began in earnest Thursday and wraps up on Tuesday, the spotlight has been on the offensive tackles. Offensive left tackles in particular.
Colts' Pagano back to full work schedule at combine
Back and ready to go.
That’s the attitude Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano is taking during the National Football Scouting Combine, which completed its second day of operations Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium. During a wide-ranging press conference at the combine, Pagano confirmed that he is back to a full work regimen after missing 12 games last fall as he battled a rare form of leukemia.
After undergoing cancer treatments that featured heavy doses of chemotherapy, the second-year head coach was able to return to the sidelines for Indianapolis’ final regular-season home game against Houston and for the team’s AFC wild-card matchup with eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore.
Colts looking forward to different approach to draft in 2013
A year ago, the Indianapolis Colts had the first overall pick in the 2012 National Football League draft.
It was a foregone conclusion that the Colts would select former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the selection. While Indianapolis front office and player personnel officials certainly had to do their due diligence in preparing for the draft, the Colts find themselves this year in a bit different situation.
The team will have the 24th overall pick in the first round, which is a double-edged sword. Indianapolis picks lower in the round due to a successful season. But the pool of available can’t-miss talent isn’t quite as plentiful as drafting earlier in the round.
Former Pro Bowl selection Freeney won't return to Colts
The news coming out of the Indianapolis Colts headquarters Friday afternoon was not totally unexpected. Team officials have confirmed that two veteran players – former Pro Bowl defensive end/outside linebacker Dwight Freeney and wide receiver Austin Collie — will not be returning for the 2013 season.
Colts’ new offensive coordinator will offer variety
Quarterback Andrew Luck running the Pistol offense? Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton lining up in the Wildcat?
Colts moving on to the off season
Moving on. That’s the immediate plans for the Indianapolis Colts as they head into the off season.
Baltimore ends Indy’s playoff run early
The Baltimore Ravens want one long final ride for Ray Lewis. Having disposed of Andrew Luck and the Colts, they now face a more imposing challenge.
Next up, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Switching sides: Colts-Ravens matchup includes old friends on new teams
Just as Baltimore Ravens players and coaches will be seeing some old friends returning to M&T Bank Stadium today, several Indianapolis Colts veterans will also have an opportunity to renew acquaintances with a familiar face.
Pagano prepares Colts for tough crowd in Baltimore
As a former resident of Baltimore, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano knows all about the hard feelings that still run strong about the move of the Colts franchise to Indianapolis in 1984.
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