Colts miss their Manning

By: Mary Stevens
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The Indianapolis Colts have someone other than Peyton Manning as their starting quarterback for the first time in 13 years.

The future remains uncertain for the Colts quarterback, who underwent neck surgery this past Thursday. This is his third neck surgery in the last 19 months.

Manning, 35, is expected to be out for at least two to three months, and there is no guarantee he will come back. Jim Irsay, Colts owner said via Twitter that, “#18’s out for awhile.”

Indianapolis recently signed Manning to a 5-year contract extension worth $90 million, shortly after the lockout ended at the end of July.

“To say I am disappointed in not being able to play is an understatement,” Manning said in a statement on the Colts’ website. Manning has not missed a start since 1998, ending his streak of 227 consecutive starts including playoffs. He continued by saying, “I simply am not healthy enough to play, and I am doing everything I can to get my health back.”

Reaching the playoffs in each of the last nine seasons, Manning’s injury worries many Colts fans that they might not get there this year.

For years, they dominated the AFC South, but last year the Colts barely won their division.

Manning’s injury may open the door for the Titans, Jaguars, or Texans to be the divisional leaders, which will leave the Colts hoping for a wild card. But with the Jets, Patriots, Steelers, and Ravens in the AFC, the Colts’ chances of getting a wild card are very slim.

When Manning hasn’t played in the past, he usually supports his team by helping on the sidelines. But for Sunday’s game against their divisional rivals, the Houston Texans, Manning stayed home.

As for Manning’s replacement, Colts’ head coach Jim Caldwell brought in veteran quarterback Kerry Collins. Collins had a QBR of 82.2 last year, slightly under Manning’s QBR of 91.9.

Collins has his work cut out for him as a franchise, a team, and fans will depend on his leadership.