Colts preparing QB Painter to start vs. Bucs on Monday

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Colts are preparing as though Curtis Painter will be their starting quarterback at Tampa Bay on Monday.

Kerry Collins is still recovering after suffering concussion-like symptoms Sunday against Pittsburgh and his status remains in doubt. That means the Colts are getting Painter ready for what would be his first NFL start.

"You have to," Colts coach Jim Caldwell said Thursday. "There's no other way to do it. I had this old adage when I started coaching that you've got to coach who shows up. Today, Curtis is practicing and Kerry is not, so obviously, we have to get him (Curtis) ready for the ball game."

Indy signed quarterback Dan Orlovsky to the active roster on Wednesday to provide depth. Peyton Manning isn't expected to return until November or December as he recovers from neck surgery.

Painter has mostly struggled during his tenure Indianapolis, but he directed the Colts to a game-tying touchdown against Pittsburgh before Ben Roethlisberger led the Steelers to a game-winning field goal.

"I think what Curtis has shown is that he's improved," Caldwell said. "He has been able to do it consistently, just get a little bit better six inches at a time. He's familiar with our system, and I think he'll function very well."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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