On Sunday, Collie left a game with a head injury for the third time in seven weeks, and Indianapolis Coach Jim Caldwell said on Monday that he did not know if Collie would return.
“We lean totally upon those who are in charge,” Caldwell said, referring to the club’s doctors. “Once he’s cleared and ready to go, that’s the case.”
Despite its victory against Jacksonville on Sunday, Indianapolis (8-6) remains in a precarious position as far as the postseason goes. But if the Colts win at Oakland this week and beat Tennessee at home in the finale, they will win their seventh A.F.C. South title in eight years and earn a ninth consecutive playoff berth.
Collie was injured late in the first half Sunday when Jacksonville linebacker Daryl Smith appeared to hit him in the head with his forearm as Collie went low to make a catch. The Colts’ president, Bill Polian, said it was “too early in the week to make any type of judgment” on Collie’s status.
Despite missing five games and more than a half in three others, Collie leads all Colts receivers with eight touchdown receptions, is second in catches (58) and is third in yards (649). And he is something of a security blanket for quarterback . On Sunday, in what amounted to a potential elimination game for the Colts (8-6), Manning threw 10 passes to Collie in the first half, and Collie caught 8 for 87 yards and 2 scores.
ARE SURPRISED The Raiders (7-7) remained in postseason contention by beating the , 39-23, on Sunday. It is new ground for the club, which had lost at least 11 games for a league-worst seven consecutive seasons.
The Raiders still need plenty of help, of course; they have to win their remaining games, and have the first-place (9-5) and the second-place (8-6) each lose at least once.
But for players like the Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who was a rookie in 2003 when the streak began, it is long overdue. “Everybody’s excited and we have something to play for,” Asomugha said. Coach Tom Cable seemed to be excited, no matter what: “Football is football. I love football. I love coaching.”
TEBOW WILL START AGAIN The interim Broncos coach Eric Studesville said that would start when the Broncos hosted the (5-9) next weekend. Studesville, who said the regular starter Kyle Orton was still bothered by bruised ribs, praised the job Tebow did in managing the game plan in his first start, a 39-23 loss last week at Oakland.
APOLOGIES IN MIAMI For the eighth time in nine seasons, the will miss out on the postseason. Miami (7-7) is last in the A.F.C. in scoring, has only 34 combined points in its past three games and has only 24 in the past three home games.
Sunday’s 17-14 loss to the was the seventh time Miami was held to 14 points or fewer. And receiver Brandon Marshall wanted to say he was sorry. “I want to apologize to the defensive guys,” Marshall said. “All year, they played their hearts out.” He added: “Offensively, all year, we didn’t get the job done. We didn’t make enough plays.”
SEASON OVER FOR OWENS receiver decided to have knee surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee, ending his season. Owens, 37, flew to Birmingham, Ala., on Monday and was examined by Dr. James Andrews. Owens played well this year, with 983 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns, but the Bengals (3-11) are having one of their worst seasons.
MAYBE ROMO, MAYBE NOT Coach Jason Garrett said “we’ll see how he does, how he feels” when assessing the chances that quarterback Tony Romo, who has missed eight games with a broken collarbone, will return this season. … The said tight end Heath Miller will play Thursday night against the after missing two games with a concussion. … The said tight end Todd Heap may return for Sunday’s game at Cleveland after missing the past two games with a pulled right hamstring.