Indianapolis — The Indianapolis Colts are bringing one veteran quarterback out of retirement.
No, not Brett Favre.
The Colts agreed to terms Wednesday with Kerry Collins, making him the likely starter in case Peyton Manning hasn’t completely recovered from offseason neck surgery when the season opens Sept. 11.
Collins said he has been given no indication that Manning won’t play at Houston.
“Hopefully, Peyton will be back, but if he’s not maybe I can be one of the guys that can help this ball club,” Collins said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday night. “The biggest draw for me coming here was just being with a team that I have a lot of respect for and a lot of history with, and really to be with a great team and play with one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time.”
Collins agreed to a one-year contract and acknowledged he could be talked into staying longer than 2011.
Not everyone in the Colts locker room is enamored with the move.
“We don’t even know him, we ain’t vanilla, man, we ain’t no simple offense,” receiver Reggie Wayne said. “So for him to come in here and be the starter, I don’t see it. I think that’s a step back.”
Colts coach Jim Caldwell wasn’t available to talk with reporters about Collins, a player he coached at Penn State, because the official announcement didn’t come until after practice. Caldwell spoke with reporters before practice. But he struck a calm tone in a statement released by the team.
“He is a veteran quarterback who has started many games and he brings dimension and depth to the quarterback position, which will be helpful,” Caldwell said. “He is familiar with our division and will make a great addition to our roster.”
The move is another indication that Manning’s streak of 227 consecutive starts, including playoff games, is in serious jeopardy for the first time since 2008.
Manning had surgery May 23 to repair a nerve in his neck, and the recovery has gone slower than expected.