5 Indianapolis Colts Stars Who Must Excel Without Peyton Manning
"What I said: A source I consider reliable told me he is out for the season. I do believe that the actual diagnosis is still being determined."
So, even though anything has yet to be confirmed, it's still quite possible that this could happen to Manning.
After undergoing two neck surgeries in the past 15 months, it's not out of the question that he could be out for the season.
With that in mind, if Manning is in fact out for the season, here are five Colts players who need to learn to play without him.
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The best of the young WRs, Pierre Garcon must take over and become one of the premier leaders on the Indianapolis offense.
And although he still is developing as a top WR in the NFL, learning as much as possible about the position from veteran Reggie Wayne will be key.
He must be the most patient of the receiving corps as he is the most athletic, and has the most potential, but being able to excel with out Manning will increase his confidence like nothing else.
For his development, it's almost a blessing in disguise, because if you can still improve at your position while transitioning from a Hall of Fame QB to a non-Hall of Famer, that's something you can't teach.
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Last season Tamme came on the scene when Dallas Clark was out with yet another injury. He quickly became one of Manning's favorite targets as he caught 67 passes for 631 yards, including four TDs.
With Clark at age 32, there's not much time left for him to be the main TE in Indy, so it's imperative that Tamme continues to develop. Without Manning however, that will be a challenge.
But like any TE need to be for any new QB to their team, he must become even more reliable.
Chances are he doesn't get the numbers again with Peyton under center, but the quicker either Curtis Painter or Kerry Collins trusts him, the better.
In turn, the future will be set at the TE position when Clark is gone.
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Much like Pierre Garcon, young WR Austin Collie must take advantage of this opportunity to emerge as a leader on the Colts' offense.
Now although he most likely won't be starting, because of Garcon and Reggie Wayne, it's important that he still acts as that slot receiving threat for the QB (either Collins or Painter).
We'll most likely see him in a four-wide set, along with the next guy, and maintaining his level of play, despite having injury issues in the past, is crucial to the Colts' success.
He's in the same boat as a lot of these other young Colt's WRs, and they all must produce for Indy to make the playoffs.
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He missed all of the preseason, and was recently activated from the PUP list with a back injury.
Right now he's Austin Collie's backup, but his number may get called if coach Jim Caldwell needs/wants to go with a four-wide set.
His playing time will most likely be limited even once he gets back to 100 percent, but his development is arguably the most important as he provides the Colts' offense with much talented depth.
White was a very reliable target last season, and keeping that going along with the rest of the receiving targets is imperative for Kerry Collins or Curtis Painter to get acclimated with the Colts' offense.
He must excel on every snap, no matter how many snaps that is for Indianapolis to be successful.
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It may come as a surprise, but Colts' center Jeff Saturday has never snapped for any other QB except Peyton Manning.
And this picture is of him from 1999, when he first joined Indianapolis in Manning's second season.
With Manning out for however long he is out, Jeff Saturday becomes the sole incumbent leader of coach Caldwell's offense.
He's been the center for them since 1999, and there's no one else better to takes to reigns until Peyton gets back.
Yes he will continue to excel, but getting the rest of the offense to follow his command is more evident.
Saturday is arguably the games best center right now, and he can really showcase his leadership skills with a brand new QB taking his snaps.
And I'll tell you what, if I'm an NFL QB who's coming into a new offensive system, Jeff Saturday is the center I'd want to help guide me.
Be sure to check on John on Bleacher Report.
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