Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts will enter Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday with a lengthy and significant list of injuries. Starting running back Joseph Addai is doubtful with a neck injury, and his backup Mike Hart is questionable with a bad ankle. Colts safety Bob Sanders continues to miss time with a biceps injury, and tight end Dallas Clark is, of course, done for the year with a wrist injury. Seven other Colts starters are listed on this week's injury report.
Manning knows that the success of his offense relies on his ability to make quick changes at the line of scrimmage, something that requires all 11 offensive players to be on the same page. With so many injuries and a complex offensive system, that's a tall order.
"It's certainly been a challenge," Manning said. "You just try and be real sound with the fundamentals. The guys in there, you try and give them plays that they know and that they can execute. You try not to overload their minds with too much information and too many new plays.
"So you have to be smart about the things you're asking these new guys to do. But it's a great opportunity for some guys."
Having a 10-time Pro Bowl, 5-time All-Pro quarterback as the captain of your offense will certainly help young players execute, even without much experience. After all, Manning has seen it all before, as defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said earlier this week.
The Colts quarterback is putting together a career that could rival just about any quarterback to ever play the game. He's third all time in pass completions (4,429), passing yards (52,312), passing touchdowns (381) and quarterback rating (95.5). But for Manning, all he wants to do is be there for his teammates each and every game. He has never missed a game since he was drafted No. 1 overall in 1998.
"As far as what I'm proud of, I do take pride in being there every single Sunday,"" Manning said. ""I know there's been a lot of attention on Brett Favre's (consecutive games played) streak, and it really is just amazing how many games he's started in a row. But Eli (Manning) and I take great pride in having the second and third longest streaks among active players.
"I think ultimately it's about being there for your teammates each and every Sunday so I do take pride in answering the bell and being there every Sunday and hopefully doing my job to help our team win."
This Sunday, however, the only stat that matters is the final score, and the Eagles hope to have the edge when all is said and done. Manning told reporters that he expects a tough game in a difficult environment come Sunday afternoon in South Philadelphia.
"These guys are well coached," Manning said. "They're a diverse blitz team, smart blitzes I would say. You can tell that they're well coached and really studied."
Just how "smart" those blitzes are could very well determine the outcome of the football game.
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 10:00 a.m., November 6