Indy backup quarterbacks make for ugly night

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Colts may wind up finding out if they are two-deep at quarterback.

While their preseason results in recent years have proven to be as meaningless as any team in the league, it was hard not to conclude tonight they definitely are not three deep at the most important spot on the field.

But who is?

With Peyton Manning still recovering from knee surgery and Jim Sorgi scratched because of a knee injury of his own, Jared Lorenzen was mediocre in the first half (long pass: 13 yards) and Quinn Gray was horrible in the second (four interceptions).

The Colts lost 20-7 to Buffalo in the first NFL game of any variety at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Coach Tony Dungy said Sorgi took a hit in the Colts' game last week in Atlanta.

"He came out of it OK, practiced on Wednesday and did fine, just had a little bit more swelling and a little bit more soreness every day and even (Saturday) was still pretty good when we took our final drill work," he said. "In warm-ups he didn't feel 100 percent. If it was a regular season game he probably would have played, but we felt it was best not to play."

Dungy admitted the thought process in holding Sorgi out was that the team didn't want to expose itself to further concerns at quarterback. While officials are publicly optimistic about Manning, who watched the game in street clothes, the team wants to be sure Sorgi is the worst alternative to be considered come Sept. 7 when the team starts the regular season here by hosting Chicago.

"There was no point in jeopardizing him tonight," Dungy said.

Indianapolis has a quick turnaround with its fifth and final preseason game here Thursday night against Cincinnati and fans could be in line to see more of the Gray and Lorenzen. If center Jeff Saturday, who left this game with a knee injury, is out, will they want to put Sorgi at risk behind an incomplete line even if his knee is feeling good? Dungy expects Saturday to have an MRI.

Since signing just before camp, Lorenzen and Gray have flip-flopped taking the second-team snaps and Lorenzen was in line to work with the twos, so he just moved up a spot when Sorgi was pulled after warm-ups.

He offered the same assurances that team has been offering up since July 14, when Manning had an infected bursa sac in his left knee removed.

"Offensively, to the fans: You can relax," Lorenzen said. "You can ask Quinn or even Jim this, we're not 18, 18 will have this offense going the way he wants it. He is extremely good, he is extremely confident and this offense will be fine.

"When it comes to us, we're learning, we're getting there. There is a lot of stuff I wanted to do better, just didn't. We've got to execute better and we can't turn the ball over."

Gray did get a deep ball down the middle over rookie cornerback Leodis McKelvin to Devin Aromashodu, who took it 94 yards for the Colts' only touchdown. That third-quarter play helped the quarterback finish the game with a 66.1 passer rating even with the four picks.

"There are going to be nights like that," Gray said. "...I turned the ball over a few times. It was real unfortunate and very uncharacteristic."