Three and out: No clarity on Peyton Manning

No return date set for Manning: After the shock of learning on Wednesday that Peyton Manning would miss the first game of his NFL career, the news surrounding the Colts’ field leader got even murkier. Team owner and Twitter maven Jim Irsay tweeted on Thursday that Manning would be “out for a while”. What exactly that means, no one knows. Regardless, Manning fantasy owners should be prepared to make some moves. While there is no indication that Manning won’t play in 2011, there’s no way of knowing if he will have an extended stay on the shelf. Unless Kerry Collins proves he can be a credible fantasy property, fantasy owners would be wise to consult the waiver wire for other options.

Foster says he’ll play opener: Perhaps second to Manning’s neck, Arian Foster’s hamstring is the most discussed body part in fantasy football. Yet the Texans’ leading rusher said Thursday that he would be ready to go on Sunday against the Colts. Coach Gary Kubiak was less certain about Foster’s status Wednesday, calling the running back “day to day”. In the event that Houston holds Foster out of action on Sunday, expect his workload to be split between Ben Tate and Derrick Ward.

Barber out for opener: The Bears will have to wait at least a week for RB Marion Barber to make his debut. The former Cowboy suffered a calf injury in the team’s third preseason game that will keep him out of the regular season opener against Atlanta. In his absence, Khalil Bell takes over the No. 2 spot on Chicago’s depth chart. Matt Forte is the undisputed bell cow of coach Lovie Smith’s backfield, but with Barber out of action (and Chester Taylor now residing in Arizona), Forte will see more touches in the short term.

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