Colts with Plenty of QB Questions After Loss to Steelers

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 Monday 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.”

Many are wondering just how much can be covered this week.

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

Collins didn’t talk to reporters Monday because he was receiving injury treatment. 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.

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.

“I’m not sure,” he said. “I’m sure we’ll find out more in the next couple of days.”

Collins’ injury status isn’t the only concern at the team complex.

Last week, fed-up fans started lobbying for Painter to replace Collins. On Monday, those calls picked up steam.

Collins has completed 49 percent of his passes, averaging less than 5 yards per attempt. He’s thrown two TDs, one interception, lost three fumbles and been sacked five times and, at times, looked absolutely dreadful.

During a second-half stretch in the Week 2 loss to Cleveland, Collins threw 10 straight incompletions and was 3 of 9 in the third quarter Sunday before leaving.

Painter went 5 of 11 for 60 yards with one sack, one lost fumble but produced Indy’s only TD drive of the game. It was his first regular-season action since the end of 2009.

After Sunday’s game, Caldwell said he and his staff would evaluate the play of both quarterbacks, and not just because of Collins’ health.

“We will look at all the other factors as well. All of them,” Caldwell said Sunday night.

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