Posted by Josh Katzowitz
If you watched the Colts put up a valiant effort in a loss to the Buccaneers on Monday, you saw Curtis Painter exceed expectations. As in he wasn’t as terrible as some of us thought he’d be.
Could he, in fact, keep the starting quarterback position when Kerry Collins has recovered from his concussion symptoms? I think we know the answer Reggie Wayne would provide -- psst, he likes Painter -- but what about the man who’s in charge of the decisions (or is he?).
“We’re not going to make that decision today,” Colts coach Jim Caldwell said, via the Indianapolis Star. “I can tell you he did the things we asked him to do. Obviously you can see he had some bright spots, but we’ll see how things go the next day or so.”
Painter finished 13 of 30 for 281 yards and two touchdowns and a fumble, and he was much better than horrendous. But that doesn’t mean the Colts should just give him the job (though, at this point, I’m not sure what the point of playing Collins would be). And maybe for a good reason, as our friends at Pro Football Focus point out in the site’s review of Monday’s game.
Writes PFF: “In his first chance to show the world that the Colts can get by without Peyton Manning, Curtis Painter didn’t exactly convince any of his critics that he was the answer. Although his stat line wasn’t all that bad, thanks largely to Pierre Garcon, he overthrew five different receivers, and was fortunate to have two possible interceptions dropped by Aqib Talib and Elbert Mack. Not surprisingly, the Bucs were able to rattle him when they blitzed, sending at least five men on 11 different occasions, with the resulting completion percentage just 20% (with one sack)."
OK, so Painter wasn’t fantastic, but aside from the fumble, he did a pretty nice job keeping his team in the game. And let’s face it: considering the expectations many of us had for him coming into the game (a stat line of 12 for 33 for 172 yards and three interceptions would not have been out of the question), the fact Painter had some good moments was a pleasant surprise.
Whether it means Painter ends up ahead of Collins on this week’s depth chart, though, remains to be seen.
In other Colts news, the devastating ankle injury suffered by defensive tackle Eric Foster will keep him in a Florida hospital the next few days while he recovers from surgery. When he’s ready to come home, owner Jim Irsay will send a private plane for him.
“The surgery went well,” Caldwell said. “From what we understand, it went as scheduled and as planned and we’re praying for a speedy recovery for him.”
And making matters even worse, the Indianapolis Star is reporting that second-round tackle Ben Ijalana damaged his ACL on Monday and might have to miss the rest of the season.
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