Although it is only mid-week some details are shaping up that an idea what Colts fans might expect to see against the Packers. First, although the third preseason game is often considered the “dress rehearsal game,” where teams typically do their first game-planning in practice, there is nothing “dress” about a Colts rehearsal that does not include Peyton Manning. Second, there are players who are getting healthy and are slated to take the field who would interest Colts fans. Those players include Jamaal Anderson, Ernie Sims, and Reggie Wayne. Third, there are other players who have not yet been able to practice this week and another who attempted to return only to get injured again. Wide receiver Austin Collie returned from a knee injury only to suffer a foot injury that may keep him out of practice the rest of the week. If it does, it is unlikely that he will playing against the Packers.
After working out at right guard for the final week of training camp, veteran right tackle Ryan Diem has been working hard this week to cram his old position back into his head where he is projected to start against Green Bay. This would make the starting lineup Castonzo, Reitz, Saturday, Diem, Linkenbach, unless McClendon overtakes Reitz at left guard and/or Ijalana overtakes Linkenbach at right tackle. If Diem can successfully make the transition back inside, it will significantly bolster the line as a whole. There may be no bigger offensive line story this week than whether a long-time veteran can switch positions — and that’s with first and second round rookie tackles attempting to crack the starting lineup.
Back to Manning, Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell suggested the he is working hard to be ready for the season opener in Houston. While one would have to assume that all Colts fans figured Manning was doing everything in his power to be ready to go, another story, from another sport, was brought to the attention of sports fans by injury expert Will Carroll. That story’s subject, Casey Blake (third baseman for the Dodgers), is considering a premature retirement due to a pinched nerve in his neck. While Blake explains in the story that he has no desire to go that route and that he is slated to pick up a $6 million bonus if he plays next year, he may be forced to quit early (he’s 38 years old) because the more pressure he puts on the nerve without it healing or without releasing the pressure from it, the more likely it is that he can injure the nerve enough to affect him for the rest of his life.
Coltzilla is hoping that our own injury expert, Laura Calaway will have a chance to get some information together that is more specific in the coming days to provide our readers with more concrete information. Needless to say, there is nothing conclusive in any report on Manning that would make the injury Blake is suffering from undeniably the same or even definitely related/similar. However, there is enough inconclusive language used in Manning’s injury description, and enough odd goings on with regard to Colts Owner Jim Irsay’s random tweets, that it is not difficult to understand how Colts fans would at least have some of the hairs on the back of your necks (no pun intended) standing up out of fear that the two could be related.
I’ll still stick with Tony Dungy until something more official is confirmed. Manning will start and play Week 1 against the Texans unless he’s dead.