Painter holds off Orlovsky to remain Colts' starting QB

INDIANAPOLIS -- Curtis Painter's struggles, an 0-10 record and fans clamoring for a quarterback change hasn't swayed Colts coach Jim Caldwell.

On Wednesday, Caldwell told players and reporters that Painter will make his eighth start this Sunday against Carolina.

"Curtis has not played a whole lot of football around here for us, and I think he needs to be given a good, clean opportunity," Caldwell said. "A lot of things happened out there that I don't think were his fault. I just don't feel like he's gotten a clear opportunity to do that yet, so I want to give him that opportunity."

The Colts rarely make midseason changes unless there's an injury. But the quarterback situation has been a mess since four-time league MVP Peyton Manning had his third neck surgery in 19 months on Sept. 8.

Manning hasn't practiced since then and isn't expected to play in any games this season. Indy brought in Kerry Collins to replace Manning, for $4 million, but Collins sustained a concussion in Week 3 against Pittsburgh and will end the season on injured reserve.

Dan Orlovksy, the only other healthy quarterback on Indy's active roster, relieved Painter each of the past two games, prompting many to think that Caldwell might make a change after Indy's bye week.

Not a chance.

"We just have to keep getting better, keep improving," Painter said.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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