Wednesday September 7th, 2011

We won't see Peyton Manning's famous play-changing at the line of scrimmage in Week 1 this year. (AP)

The Colts' worst fear has become reality: Peyton Manning will miss Week 1, team vice chairman Bill Polian said Wednesday, ending Manning's consecutive starts streak at 208. Kerry Collins will likely get the start for Indianapolis Sunday in a crucial AFC South battle at Houston.

The last time a quarterback other than Manning started for the Colts was in Week 17 of the 1997 season, when Jim Harbaugh threw for 167 yards in a loss to the Vikings.

Manning's absence Sunday would make his brother, Eli Manning, holder of the current consecutive starts streak for quarterbacks -- the younger Manning has currently opened 103 straight games for the Giants.

The ramifications of Peyton Manning's injury could be long-lasting for the Colts. Indianapolis has won back-to-back division titles and seven of the previous nine AFC South titles, with Tennessee knocking Indy from its perch in 2002 and '08. But the situation is relatively dire without Manning.

Collins retired earlier this offseason, then was talked out of that decision by the Colts just prior to their third preseason game, with Manning's recovery from offseason neck surgery taking longer than anticipated. Collins started seven games for Tennessee last year, but the 38-year-old has had just two weeks to learn Indianapolis' intricate offensive system.

The Colts' other option at quarterback is 26-year-old Curtis Painter, who has never started an NFL game. He played twice in relief of Manning at the end of the 2009 season, and the Colts lost both those games, ending their hopes of a perfect 16-0 run. There was no immediate word on Manning's status for Week 2 and beyond. The Colts host Cleveland on Sept. 18 and welcome Pittsburgh in Week 3.

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