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Colts take safe route, sign Collins as insurance

The Indianapolis Colts are bringing one veteran quarterback out of retirement.

No, not Brett Favre.

The Colts agreed to terms Wednesday with Kerry Collins, making him the likely starter in case Peyton Manning hasn't completely recovered from offseason neck surgery when the season opens Sept. 11.

Collins said he has been given no indication that Manning won't play at Houston.

"Hopefully, Peyton will be back, but if he's not maybe I can be one of the guys that can help this ball club," Collins said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday night. "The biggest draw for me coming here was just being with a team that I have a lot of respect for and a lot of history with, and really to be with a great team and play with one of greatest quarterbacks of all time."

Collins agreed to a one-year contract and acknowledged he could be talked into staying longer than 2011.

Not everyone in the Colts locker room is enamored with the move.

"We don't even know him, we ain't vanilla, man, we ain't no simple offense," receiver Reggie Wayne said. "So for him to come in here and be the starter, I don't see it. I think that's a step back."

Colts coach Jim Caldwell wasn't available to talk with reporters about Collins, a player he coached at Penn State, because the official announcement didn't come until after practice. Caldwell spoke with reporters before practice. But he struck a calm tone in a statement released by the team.

"He is a veteran quarterback who has started many games and he brings dimension and depth to the quarterback position, which will be helpful," Caldwell said. "He is familiar with our division and will make a great addition to our roster."

The move is another indication that Manning's streak of 227 consecutive starts, including playoff games, is in serious jeopardy for the first time since 2008.

Manning had surgery May 23 to repair a nerve in his neck, and the recovery has gone slower than expected partially, Manning said, because he couldn't work out with team trainers during the 4 1/2 -month lockout.

On Saturday morning, Colts owner Jim Irsay wrote on Twitter that the Colts should be prepared to play without Manning in the opener against the division-rival Texans. Later that day, Manning acknowledged he did not expect to play in the final two preseason games and that he would need the next two weeks just to get healthy.

And if he's not ready? Well, there's Collins, who has played in 195 career games with Tennessee, New Orleans, the New York Giants, Oakland and Carolina before retiring in July.

Collins has a career 55.8 completion percentage and has thrown for 40,441 yards and 206 touchdowns. He led the Giants to a Super Bowl appearance in 2000.

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Johnson, Titans chat

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee General Manager Mike Reinfeldt said Wednesday's meeting with Chris Johnson was beneficial even though no deal was reached to end the running back's holdout.

The GM expects to talk with the running back's agent again in the "next day or so."

Reinfeldt and Vin Marino, the Titans' vice president of football administration, met Wednesday morning with Johnson and his agent Joel Segal. Reinfeldt said in a statement he felt it was important to meet face to face.

"I'm not sure there was any progress made, but I do think it was beneficial to meet," Reinfeldt said.

Neither Johnson nor his agent immediately responded to messages from The Associated Press. But The Tennessean reported Johnson flew home to Orlando.

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Around the league

* Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Brandon Siler tore an Achilles tendon during practice this week and is the latest to join a growing list of NFL players to sustain the season-ending injury.

* The Dallas Cowboys have signed cornerback Orlando Scandrick to a five-year contract extension. The deal is worth $27 million -- an additional $2 million this season, and an average of $5 million per season for the added years. He's guaranteed $10 million.

* The NFL and the players' union remain at an impasse on HGH testing with just two weeks remaining before the season kicks off. The NFL would be the first American professional sports league to implement human growth hormone testing. Such testing was included in the new collective bargaining agreement but implementation was contingent upon the union's approval of the test and an appeals process.

* A group of retired players has decided to dismiss their lawsuit against the NFL now that the lockout is over. Hall of Famer Carl Eller, Priest Holmes and several other retired players had accused the players' union and the NFL of illegally negotiating terms of a collective bargaining agreement on their behalf.

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