Watching the Colts preseason game yesterday, a few things became clear. (1) This is the best chance Peyton Manning has had of missing a game in a long time. (2) Curtis Painter is not the answer. (3) Kerry Collins might be the temporary answer, but he still needs to figure out where his locker is, where to board the team bus, the coaches’ names, etc., let alone learn the offense.
While I will never count Manning out of any game before kickoff, I do think it is time to start thinking about handcuff and/or backup options for Manning. I do not really think any of the Colts’ backups merit significant handcuff consideration at this point. Instead, if I did not have a quality backup on my roster, I would probably go looking for a starting quarterback for some other team. Matt Hasselbeck, for instance, is available in many leagues and appears to be locking things down in Tennessee. He will not be a Pro-Bowler, but he should put up some respectable totals until Manning returns. Donovan McNabb is another possibility, though I would keep an eye on how he clicks with the offense as the preseason progresses. Colt McCoy and Tarvaris Jackson are also generally available, but I would consider them pretty big reaches until they prove otherwise.