With the news of the Kerry Collins signing coming through Twitter today, the Colts have officially unleashed panic on the streets of Indianapolis.
This signing confirms Irsay's questionable tweets a few days ago, that the Colts really are reevaluating the quarterback position due to Manning's injury questions. So, what does it mean for the team? Especially during Week One? Well, there are three possibilities.
The Colts are seriously worried about Peyton Manning's health, especially for the first few games of the season. With Chris Mortenson reporting that this is the case, it's looking more and more likely that this is the situation we're in. While this would likely be a temporary measure, 3-4 games at the maximum, it would likely be 3-4 games that the Colts lose, even with Collins. The Colts offense relies on timing, and a repertoire with the receivers. Collins will not be able to master the offense in two weeks.
That's why, if this is the right assumption, the Colts management screwed up big time. I trust the front office, in general, but this is something that cannot be explained. If there truly are serious concerns, Collins or another quarterback should have been signed weeks ago. To do it now rather than earlier is nonsensical. Either the FO seriously misinterpreted Manning's injury, or they thought Curtis Painter/Dan Orlovsky would be massively better than they are. Either one is a huge mistake.
Two: Sigh of Relief
Peyton will be fine, and is planning on playing September 11. However, the front office is a bit weary of his durability, and finally decided to sign a capable backup quarterback. This is the scenario that it seems like many of the Colts players, Tony Dungy, and even Tom Brady agree with. In this case, I back off on my feelings towards the front office a little bit. It's merely an insurance move. They still should have done it a couple weeks ago, and given Collins time to work with the team, but the mistake doesn't matter quite as much. However, it's unsure whether or not Collins would come out of retirement if there wasn't a good chance of playing (although playing for a championship caliber team would likely help).
Three: Stupid, Stupid
It has been asked whether or not this is an impulse move, incited by pressure from Irsay. With the media clamoring on about the inability of the backup quarterbacks, it's possible that Jim Irsay was feeling pressured. Remember, Irsay has wanted to sign a better backup quarterback in the past. This would mean that Manning will likely be ok, and the Polians just signed Collins as a backup.
If this is the case, and the Polians were pressured into the signing by Irsay, it's a stupid move. It makes them look stupid, because everyone is questioning the handling of Manning's health. It also would mean Irsay is weakening to the cries of the media, something I don't want in an owner. Overall, I see the first scenario as the most likely, although the second scenario could be the case. That''s what I'm hoping for, but I'm not very optimistic.