The Colts have an offense that is almost completely built around quarterback Peyton Manning, but with reports that Manning will miss the season opener and might be out for perhaps the entire season, Indianapolis need to exhaust other options.
One quarterback that suddenly became available is David Garrard, who was unexpectedly released by Jacksonville this week. The 33-year-old would be a sensible replacement for Manning for a variety of reasons.
The Colts rely on an experienced quarterback to direct them, and Garrard has been in the NFL since 2002. He is coming off a season where he completed 64.5 percent of his passes, and was a respectable 13th in quarterback rating at 90.8 -- just a tick below Drew Brees. Garrard had a solid season on a team that lacked a star receiver, and would have much better options in Indianapolis.
Garrard is familiar with the AFC South. Having only played for Jacksonville, Garrard would give the Colts an edge when they play the Jaguars, and Garrard has a strong understanding of Tennessee and Houston as well. Against the Texans last season, Garrard completed 24 passes on 31 attempts for 342 yards and two touchdowns.
Garrard has mobility. While opponents' defensive game plan is to contain Manning, Garrard can beat opponents by scrambling. Last season, he ran for five touchdowns, and 279 yards. The most yards Manning ever ran for was 159, and that was in 2001.
Back in 2007, Garrard proved he can be a star. In 12 starts, he threw 18 touchdown passes, and only had three interceptions, and had a 102.2 quarterback rating to go with it.
If the Colts decide they want a more seasoned quarterback, they can always turn to the most discussed quarterback of the the past five years: Brett Favre.
Colts owner Jim Irsay posted on his Twitter account that he was in Brett Favre's hometown in August, prompting speculation that Indianapolis might be interested in the 41-year old.
Though he didn't take a snap in a preseason game, Favre won't need much time to prepare after 20 seasons in the NFL. Favre would be able to step in, and give the Colts a Hall of Fame quarterback to replace another. He also injects a level of enthusiasm that the Colts' offense would likely need with the absence of Manning.
However, Favre comes with baggage. He garners a great deal of attention, and the Colts may prefer to avoid such media distractions.
For now, the starting quarterback is Kerry Collins. The veteran is a reasonable emergency quarterback to replace Manning, but the Colts may need more than that if they expect to make the playoffs with Manning out for an extended period of time.