If you think the quarterback position is just another position on the football field, think again. There hasn’t been as much ongoing news about a quarterback since Tim Tebow’s performance at training camp a month ago. Scratch the news about the backup quarterback. Now there’s significant national starting quarterback news to report.
The Indianapolis Colts are now standing in front of a firing squad with their hands ties behind their backs. Their longtime and seemingly only QB Peyton Manning is reportedly out 2-3 months after having surgery this morning.
Manning had a a cervical fusion to repair a level-one disc bulge. Although Colts’ owner Jim Irsay told the public that Manning would be out 2-3 months, that is a best case scenario.
I am invested in this story because I am having the same procedure done on Sept. 29 after a bad snowboarding fall last winter.
Basically, an incision is made in the front of the neck (to better access the disc), the disc is removed and either a bone graft or an artificial disc is put into the space. If bone graft was used which is most likely the case for Manning, a plate will be inserted to allow the cadaver bone to fuse with his bone. He will first be in a hard collar for 7-10 days, and depending on how the healing processes goes, he will then be put into a soft collar for another 4+ weeks. A return to football could happen after 12 weeks if all goes according to plan.
This news throws the entire AFC for a loop. Long time veteran Kerry Collins will replace Manning, but Collins isn’t essentially the coach out on the field like Manning was. Manning was second in the league in passing yards last year, just 10 yards behind league leader Philip Rivers. He was 2nd in completion percentage, and 3rd in touchdowns, but most importantly, he was the leader of the Colts. When he was in the game, the Colts had every chance in the world at winning.
With that said, let’s take a look at the other AFC quarterbacks and their go-to receivers.
Buffalo Bills - QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, WR Stevie Johnson, WR Roscoe Parrish
Miami Dolphins – QB Chad Henne, WR Brandon Marshall, WR Anthony Fasano
New England Patriots - QB Tom Brady, WR Chad Ochocinco, WR Wes Welker
New York Jets - QB Mark Sanchez, WR Plaxico Burress, WR Santonio Holmes
Houston Texans – QB Matt Schaub, WR Andre Johnson, WR Kevin Walter
Indianapolis Colts – QB Kerry Collins, WR Reggie Wayne, WR Austin Collie
Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Luke McCown, WR Mike Thomas, WR Mercedes Lewis
Tennessee Titans – QB Matt Hasselbeck, WR Kenny Britt, WR Nate Washington
Baltimore Ravens – QB Joe Flacco, WR Anquan Boldin, WR Lee Evans
Cincinnati Bengals – QB Andy Dalton, WR Jordan Shipley, WR Jermaine Gresham
Cleveland Browns – Colt McCoy, TE Benjamin Watson, WR Mohamed Massaquoi
Pittsburgh Steelers – QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Hines Ward, WR Mike Wallace
Denver Broncos – QB Kyle Orton, Brandon Lloyd, Eddie Royal
Kansas City Chiefs – QB Matt Cassel, WR Dwayne Bowe, WR Steve Breaston
Oakland Raiders – QB Jason Campbell, WR Louis Murphy, WR Jacoby Ford
San Diego Chargers – QB Philip Rivers, WR Vincent Jackson, TE Antonio Gates