Colts preparing as if Painter will be the starter
Colts quarterback Kerry Collins did not practice with the team on Thursday afternoon leaving the door open for Curtis Painter’s first career NFL start.  Collins is still recovering from concussion like symptoms, an injury he suffered in the 2nd half of the Colts 23-20 loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday night.  The team is not sure what Collins status will be for the Monday night game at Tampa Bay but Head Coach Jim Caldwell did clarify if Collins can’t go, Painter would be the starter.

“For him, getting an opportunity to have a good solid week of preparation is key. I think what Curtis has shown is that he’s improved, and he has been able to do it consistently. Just get a little bit better, about six inches at a time. He’s familiar with system, and I think he’ll function very well.”

“It’s one thing to get mental reps and watching other people do it. It’s another to actually be in there with the guys and getting actual reps. I think the biggest thing that helped me was camp, and just getting a ton of reps. I’ve gotten a few this year so far, but the biggest thing is just being comfortable with the offense as far as getting actual reps,” said Painter who has yet to throw a touchdown pass in the regular season.

Painter has gotten plenty of time this season to work out with the first team offense, during training camp he filled in for Peyton Manning and started three preseason games. Sunday though was his first action of the regular season; Painter entered the game in the 4th quarter and led the Colts on a late touchdown drive in last week’s loss to the Steelers. In his short time on the field he completed 5-of-11 passes for 60 yards.

“Maybe the biggest negative was coming in the game and missing a couple of passes that I should have had. Obviously, that first one to Pierre (Garcon) and then another one, I believe, on the next drive. So just getting in there and not being too wound-up, and just being a little more accurate. But we had a good drive, and we scored. That was a positive. So I guess you look at that as a good thing.”

The Colts, who sit at 0-3 on the season, look for their first win in 2011 on Monday Night against Tampa Bay. Coverage starts on our sister station Indiana’s 4 at 8 p.m.