Manning-less Colts in tough — just ask Dungy

Colts quarterback Peyton Manning likely won't be ready to go for Week 1. (Getty Images)

Colts quarterback Peyton Manning likely won't be ready to go for Week 1. (Getty Images)

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:23 PM ET

TORONTO - Still wavering on Peyton Manning and the ramifications of his absence for any length of time from the Colts offence?

Waver no longer as Tony Dungy, a guy who would give Mother Teresa a good run for individual most likely to tell the truth were she still around, has answered that very question for you.

Dungy, who as recently as a few weeks ago was of the opinion that Manning would play in Week 1 “unless he were dead”, is now singing a very different tune.

Dungy was on the Dan Patrick radio show on Tuesday when the question of whether the Colts would make the playoffs was raised.

Dungy, who was so adamant just recently that nothing would keep Manning out of the lineup, replied he didn’t think the Colts would make the playoffs this year because of the uncertainty of Manning’s status.

“Just the fact that he may miss one game tells me that this is fairly serious,” Dungy told Patrick.

What Dungy is saying is if this injury — there have even been reports that Manning could require a second neck surgery (although those reports have not been confirmed) — is serious enough that he misses one game, it is likely going to be a longer absence.

“If he misses a lot of time, I think it’s going to be very difficult for them to make it. If he misses one or two games, I think they still will win the division,” Dungy said.

A Manning-less Colts team opens up the division for a team like Houston which was dealing with their own high-profile injury troubles as recently as this weekend.

But word is out now that Arian Foster, the league’s leading rusher of a year ago, who was held out of practice because of hamstring problems, is expected to play this weekend. Turns out the hamstring injury was the same one that he had last season and the team was just taking precautions to make sure it didn’t flare up.

Jags drop the bomb

Byron Leftwich had the hammer fall on him four years ago when the Jacksonville Jaguars decided to go with David Garrard.

Now it’s Garrard’s turn.

A few days past the four-year anniversary of his ascension to the No. 1 spot, Garrard was released and the job handed over to Luke McCown.

The Jaguars are telling anyone who will listen the decision had nothing to do with finances and everything to do with McCown outplaying Garrard on the field.

The skeptic within tells us the eight million bucks Garrard would have made had plenty to do with it no matter what the Jags say.

Rookie Blaine Gabbert appears to have been given every opportunity to win the job outright but the fact that the Jags have opted to go with McCown tells you all you need to know about Gabbert’s slow progress to date.

Chiefs QB hurting

The Kansas City Chiefs passing attack may not be at full strength this weekend when the Buffalo Bills pay them a visit.

Starting quarterback Matt Cassel is practising this week, although at what level only he and his teammates know.

The K.C. Star reported on Sunday that Cassel had a rib injury thanks to a sack he took in Thursday’s final pre-season game against Green Bay. Not only did the 340-pound lineman who got the sack fall squarely on top of Cassel, but he did so with the ball pinned beneath him.

Cassel is practising with a flak jacket early this week — and has shown a propensity to come back from injuries early.

If Cassel doesn’t play, Tyler Palko would be making his first NFL start.

Quick hits

Danny Watkins, the Kelowna firefighter who took the NFL draft process by storm and became the feel-good story of the proceedings, remains a member of Philadelphia’s starting offensive line — but admits the transition from the college ranks to the pros has been a tough one. “Compared to what I was doing before this, I was just a regular-working guy,” Watkins told the Philadelphia Inquirer after initially declining interview requests. “Now, I’ve got microphones stuffed in my face and everything. It’s an adjustment, that’s for sure, in every aspect.” On the field, Watkins remains a starter for now, but the Eagles went out and found some insurance on the weekend when they signed guard Kyle DeVan, a recent cut of the Indianapolis Colts. If there is a question mark on the Eagles roster these days it lies with the offensive line ... A big blow for the New York Giants on Tuesday as they learned middle linebacker Jonathan Goff has been lost for the year with a torn ACL. Goff started every game last year for the Giants. His roster spot is expected to be taken by former Giant Kawika Mitchell ... Lance Moore has a nice big contract heading into this year but it appears he’s going to begin the season on the sidelines. Moore sat out practice for the second straight day Tuesday and would appear unlikely to play Thursday when the Saints and Green Bay Packers kick off the NFL season. Moore was the Saints second leading receiver a year ago ... The Pittsburgh Steelers are less than a year removed from the Super Bowl but their detractors are out in full force suggesting their aging defence can’t hold up another season. Head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters to keep up the negativity on Tuesday suggesting that kind of thing will only help his cause and make his job easier.


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