Curtis Painter hasn't played a down on game day, but the Indianapolis Colts quarterback has prepared with the same diligence every week of his rookie NFL season. This week was no exception.
"I don't think you really can change it," he said. "I think this week more than ever, there's the possibility."
Coach Jim Caldwell said Friday that "all healthy players" will play against the New York Jets on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
But exactly whom that will include with six starters questionable or doubtful, in addition to two out, is unclear.
"I'm still not going to assign any time period," Caldwell added, leaving open the possibility that a player like quarterback Peyton Manning might play two series or two quarters or go all the way. If Painter knows, he's denying it. The Colts have approached similar situations in different fashions in recent years.
With the AFC's No. 2 playoff seed clinched and No. 1 out of reach in 2007, they played their healthy starters all the way while beating Houston 38-15 in their 15th game of the season.
Two years earlier, with the No. 1 seed locked up, Manning and select starters played only briefly the same week during a 28-13 loss at Seattle.
With the No. 1 seed in hand, at some point Sunday the Colts' 14-0 season could be in Painter's hands.
"The overall goal is to win the game no matter who's in or however long the starters play," said Painter, a sixth-round draft choice from Purdue. "Whatever, the goal is to win."