NFL veteran quarterback Kerry Collins came out of a brief retirement to sign with the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday, raising further concerns that Peyton Manning might not be ready for the opening game on Sept. 11.
Collins, 38, briefly retired in July after last playing for the Tennessee Titans before signing with the Colts. He has played 16 seasons.
My willingness to commit to the preparation necessary to play another season has waned to a level that I feel is no longer adequate to meet the demands of the position, Collins said in his retirement speech.
Why exactly would the Colts take a chance on Collins after reading a statement like that?
The most likely reason is Peyton Manning's neck surgery rehab isn't going as well as the Colts had hoped.
The Colts have hinted over the off-season that the team's star player could lose his 227 consecutive game streak and miss the opening game against the Houston Texans. Colts owner Jim Irsay has tweeted about the possibility of the four-time MVP missing some games and that the team could go after a free agent quarterback.
That the Colts felt the need to sign an older quarterback like Collins, and not rely on its backup quarterbacks, shows that Manning could miss more than just the season's first game.
Collins could be rusty from an off-season of inactivity, but he has a wealth of experience and could be one of the best suited quarterbacks out there to pick up the Colts offense quickly.
He is a veteran quarterback who has started many games and he brings dimension and depth to the quarterback position, which will be helpful, Colts coach Jim Caldwell said. He is familiar with our division and will make a great addition to our roster.
Interestingly enough, Collins becomes second among active quarterbacks in passing yards, completions and attempts.
The quarterback that is No. 1 in those categories?
You guessed it -- Peyton Manning.
The Colts may feel that if they can't have number one it doesn't hurt to start No. 2, though it does show a marked change in approach.
In the past, the team has put all of its faith in Manning's ability to start; backing him up with the likes of Jim Sorgi and Curt Painter.
The team always expected Manning to start so it didn't really matter who the two backup quarterbacks were -- the team could have even just started selecting a fan from the stands during games to be No. 3 on the depth chart.
But now the team decides to grab a well-known, albeit aging veteran out of retirement?
The team has clearly shown its hand.
This Collins signing tells us the likelihood of Manning starting the season isn't strong.
There's simply no other way to explain the move for Collins, besides a sense of desperation that its star quarterback will finally miss a start.
Manning's long lasting streak could finally wrap up, at least for a game or two, as Colt fans prepare for the Kerry Collins era.
No Colts fan is likely happy about that last sentence -- even if Collins places second in passing yards and completions.