Top 10 Most Devastating QB Injuries
When Peyton Manning sat out Indianapolis' season opener against the Texans on Sunday, it was the first time he didn't start as the Colts' quarterback since he was selected by the franchise in the 1998 draft. Manning had been the only starting quarterback for the Colts in over a decade - through 208 regular season games, 19 playoff games, two AFC titles and victory in Super Bowl XLI.
And in one game, we had a glimpse of what a Peyton-less future holds for the Colts - it was nightmarish. With aging Kerry Collins under center, Indianapolis was slaughtered by the dynamic Houston Texans in a 34-7 rout. And more ominous for the Colts, Manning will be out for at least a few more weeks, if not the entire season. The Colts' streak of nine consecutive seasons in the playoffs - and with at least 10 wins - will be on the line, but more importantly, their status as one of the NFL's elite is in serious jeopardy.
History does offer a sliver of optimism. The 1968 Colts went 13-1 after Johnny Unitas got hurt in the preseason, as Earl Morrall won the NFL MVP and led them to the Super Bowl. The 1999 Rams didn't fare too badly, either, with some former grocery bagger (think his name's Kurt Warner) stepping in capably after Trent Green blew out his knee in an exhibition game.
But for the most part, when a team loses its renowned field commander, it's just pure, unadulterated bad news. So Colts fans, brace yourselves for our Top 10 Most Devastating QB Injuries, from the merely awful to the downright calamitous: