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Painter to start as Colts quarterback for injured Collins

The Colts' Curtis Painter looks to pass the football during a preseason NFL football game in Indianapolis
The Colts' Curtis Painter looks to pass the football during a preseason NFL football game in Indianapolis

(Reuters) - Curtis Painter will make his first National Football League start at quarterback for the injury-hit Indianapolis Colts against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week, the team said on Friday.

Painter will fill in for veteran Kerry Collins, who missed the final quarter of Sunday's 23-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers because of concussion-like symptoms.

"He (Collins) will not practice today," Colts head coach Jim Caldwell told the team's website (http://www.colts.com). "He's still going to get re-evaluated a little bit tomorrow."

"With two days of practice missed, (there's) pretty important stuff that we've put in and it's tough to reclaim that at this stage. We will see how his evaluation goes, but Curtis will end up starting the game."

Caldwell said Painter was "pretty excited" about his scheduled start against Tampa Bay on Monday.

"You can see it," Caldwell added. "He's always pretty level-headed, never too high, never too low, but you can certainly see the focus and intensity in his eyes."

Collins had been starting quarterback since the season-opener against the Houston Texans after Peyton Manning was ruled out following his third neck surgery in 19 months.

With four-time most valuable player Manning sidelined for the foreseeable future, and possibly the rest of the season, the Colts have limped to a woeful 0-3 start to their 2011 campaign.

(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Julian Linden)

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