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NFL: Week 3

Colts have a big QB quandary

Associated Press / September 27, 2011

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Peyton Manning is out, Kerry Collins is hurt, and Curtis Painter isn’t sure if he’ll be starting next week.

It’s just another messy day in Indianapolis.

Less than 13 hours after a third straight loss, the Colts’ quarterback carousel spun wildly - team officials denied a report Manning was lost for the season, declined to say whether Collins had suffered a concussion, and sidestepped the issue of adding another quarterback to the roster.

“It just depends on the situation and we’ll address it as we go,’’ coach Jim Caldwell said. “We have to look at all the possibilities, and it’s our job to cover all those bases.’’

Team owner Jim Irsay reportedly told attendees at a private breakfast with Super Bowl donors yesterday morning that Manning would miss the rest of the season.

A few hours later, Irsay wrote this on Twitter: “I didn’t say Peyton out 4season FOR SURE,keeping him on ActiveRoster n taking it month by month/Outside chance of return n December possible.’’

That’s essentially what the Colts have been saying for the past 3 1/2 weeks.

Caldwell’s response: “The only thing I know is what was stated on Sept. 8 when we released the last statement. I think that stands, and I think our owner clarified his position with his last tweet.’’

Manning is expected to miss at least five more weeks after having neck surgery Sept. 8, his third procedure in 19 months.

Caldwell said Collins was forced out of Sunday night’s game because of concussion-like symptoms and that he was still being evaluated. Collins also missed practice time last week with a sore throwing shoulder.

Colts vice chairman Bill Polian said during a radio interview last night that Collins was “feeling better today than he was yesterday’’ with a decision expected later this week.

The only other quarterback on Indy’s active roster is Painter, the tough-luck backup who led the Colts to their most meaningful touchdown drive of the season Sunday night. Painter hasn’t been told whether he’ll get his first career start next Monday at Tampa Bay.

Britt done for year Titans coach Mike Munchak announced that star receiver Kenny Britt tore both the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee and will need season-ending surgery once the swelling subsides.

The news couldn’t come at a worse time for the Titans (2-1), who are tied with Houston atop the AFC South with a two-game winning streak. The injury leaves Tennessee with four receivers, and team officials already are looking for someone to fill Britt’s spot on the roster.

Britt, the Titans’ first-round pick in 2009, was off to the best start of his career; his 289 yards receiving rank fifth in the NFL even though his knee buckled underneath him in the second quarter of Sunday’s 17-14 win over Denver.

Vick’s hand not broken Eagles coach Andy Reid said a CT scan yesterday showed quarterback Michael Vick has a “contusion’’ on his right (non-throwing hand) and not a fracture, as was the diagnosis from X-rays taken during Philadelphia’s 29-16 loss to the Giants Sunday.

“Today, he had a scan and it showed there was no break,’’ Reid said. “It was a blood vessel sitting above the bone. That happens at times with X-rays. The blood vessel makes it look like it was a fracture.’’

It’s uncertain if Vick will play next Sunday against the 49ers. Reid wouldn’t say whether Mike Kafka or Vince Young would start if Vick can’t play.

After saying Sunday that he takes too many late hits without getting the benefit of roughing the passer penalties, Vick softened his stance on officiating.

“Ultimately, I respect the referees and their decision to make calls, and you won’t hear me complain about it no more,’’ he said.

Jets’ hard knocks Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has a “minor break’’ in his nose but has no limitations and will play in New York’s next game at Baltimore next Sunday night. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie has a bruised lung and ribs and his playing status is uncertain. Sanchez was hit in the face during the third quarter of the Jets’ loss Sunday and finished wearing a visor, which he will do for the next few weeks . . . Buccaneers safety Cody Grimm has an injured right knee, though coach Raheem Morris would not speculate on how long the second-year pro would be sidelined . . . The Packers aren’t sure whether right tackle Bryan Bulaga (sprained left knee) will be able to play next weekend.

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