For the past several seasons, Jim Sorgi served in that capacity. Sorgi, though, never played much and saw very limited practice time when he was with the team. After battling injuries the last two years, he was released last month and has since signed with the New York Giants.
Second-year quarterback Curtis Painter took over for Sorgi last season and now is the sole backup with any meaningful playing time. Painter, a sixth-round draft pick in 2009, looked OK in the preseason but struggled in the team's final two regular season games.
Undrafted free agent Drew Willey, signed late last season, and rookie undrafted free agent Tim Hiller are the only other quarterbacks currently on the team's offseason roster.
But the question remains. What happens if Manning is forced to miss multiple games due to an injury? That's a good question, although a satisfactory answer is seemingly hard to come by.
When asked in the past, former Colts head coach Tony Dungy would talk about how tough it is to get a veteran quarterback to accept playing a backup role to Manning — who probably takes 95 percent of the snaps in training camp and during regular season practices.
Dungy would say that a lack of a veteran backup quarterback wasn't because the team hasn't been trying to find one. Getting one to agree to come in, knowing that they would have very limited practice time and virtually no chance to play unless Manning got hurt, has been a tough selling point.
— S Antoine Bethea is the Colts' remaining unsigned restricted free agent. Bethea, though, isn't expected to go anywhere. Indianapolis issued him the one-year tender worth $2.5 million. The Colts have reportedly discussed a long-term contract with Bethea's agent, but nothing has been consummated.
— The complete list of undrafted free agents signed by the Colts: defensive end Trevor Anderson (Michigan State), safety David Caldwell (William and Mary), cornerback Jordan Hemby (North Carolina), quarterback Tim Hiller (Western Michigan), kick returner/wide receiver Brandon James (Florida), running back Javarris James (Miami), cornerback Brandon King (Purdue), offensive tackle Jeff Linkenbach (Cincinnati), safety Mike Newton (Buffalo), safety Donye' McCleskey (Indiana State), offensive guard Gregg Peat (Oregon State), placekicker Brett Swenson (Michigan State), linebacker Vuna Tuihalamaka (Arizona), cornerback Thad Turner (Ohio), offensive tackle Andrew Tyshovnytsky (Fordham), and wide receiver Blair White (Michigan State).
— The Colts waived wide receiver Roy Hall, a fifth-round draft choice who over three injury-plagued seasons caught one pass for 9 yards. The club made no announcement. Hall has good size (6-3, 240) and speed but he was never able to fulfill expectations. He was drafted in 2007.
— Indianapolis cut tight end Jamie Petrowski and defensive end Rudolph Hardie, neither of whom has appeared in an a regular-season game. Petrowski signed with the Colts in January 2009 but missed the season with a foot injury.
— Head coach Jim Caldwell and his coaching staff were in a teaching mode during the Colts' recent three-day rookie mini-camp.
"We try to give them a fairly large amount of material. At the beginning, they're going to make some mistakes. It's a bit different than what they've been accustomed to. It moves a little quicker than what they've been accustomed to just in terms of the volume of information," Caldwell said.
"But we just tell them to hang in there. They're not going to make the team or get cut from the team this weekend or anything of that nature. So we try to settle their nerves just a little bit."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "That's the amazing thing, but I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we have guys who are leaders, and they don't get bored with the routine. They enjoy it. You have to enjoy it to do it for as long as they have done it and to do it as often as they do it. They have a great love for it. They're passionate about it and it's a trickle-down effect. Young guys just fall in line." — Colts head coach Jim Caldwell on the example set by the team's veteran players during offseason workouts and minicamps.
— CB Kevin Thomas, a third-round pick, could miss his rookie season following a knee injury suffered during last week's minicamp.
Quarterback Peyton Manning (recent neck surgery), safety Bob Sanders (torn bicep), placekicker Adam Vinatieri (hip/knee) and wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez (knee) should be able to take part in the workouts.
Gonzalez, though, has yet to get full clearance to participate in all the offseason drills. He is expected to see some practice time.
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