We'll go bad news first. Bottom line, if Jeff Saturday opts to not have surgery on his strained MCL, he's back in 6 weeks, maybe. If he does opt for surgery, he's back in 11 weeks. That means he'll likely be back in time for the San Diego game on 11/13, or the post Thanksgiving game on 11/30, which is at Cleveland. The issue here is are the Colts willing to carry Saturday on their roster the entire time he's out? This means the Colts would only really have a 52 man active roster. If Indy is willing to carry Saturday, then surgery is the best option. Get it done and get it over with; be back in time for the stretch run, and any potential post-season run. Unlike Shawne Merriman, who is a complete idiot for opting not to have surgery on two torn ligaments in his knee, Jeff Saturday is not dumb. He's in a contract year, and he's 33. Risking further injury means risking the rest of his career.
Indy should put him under the knife and shelf him until Week 11-ish. That's my opinion, anyway.
Now, the positive news. Peyton Manning practiced again Wednesday, and according to Tony Dungy (who was interviewed on ESPN's Hotlist yesterday) Manning looked sharp. The knee did not cause any problems, and Dungy essentially said he would be shocked if Manning did not start against the Bears. When asked if it was a foregone conclusion that Manning would start and play Week One, Dungy said yes.
So there. Manning will play Week One against the Bears, and rookie Steve Justice will likely be his center.