In some NFL cities, the backup quarterback is the most popular man in town. When the starting quarterback falters, fans always believe the guy holding the clipboard is the savior. In Indianapolis, this is hardly the case.

With Manning sidelined, Sorgi will have to spend the beginning of preseason games proving himself, rather than whatever it is he usually does.

With Manning sidelined, Sorgi will have to spend the preaseason proving himself, rather than whatever it is he usually does.

Entering his fifth season as Peyton Manning’s backup – who has never missed an NFL start – Jim Sorgi’s playing time has been minimal. When he gets in, it’s usually mop up duty. Playing with the second and third string, Sorgi is often behind a quickly collapsing pocket.

For what it’s worth, Sorgi’s regular-season statistics are good – a 61 percent completion rate on 126 attempts, six touchdowns, one interception, and a 90.4 passer rating. But if No. 18 goes down, Colts fans have no faith in Sorgi. He didn’t help himself when Manning injured his thumb in the 2006 AFC Championship game against the Patriots, told Sorgi to be ready, and Sorgi looked like he saw a ghost and wanted his blanky.

At 6-foot-5, 196 pounds, Sorgi has a weak arm and doesn’t exactly ooze confidence. If nothing else though, Sorgi knows the playbook inside out. And let’s face it, if Manning goes down, there aren’t too many backup quarterbacks in the league that could step in and take the Colts to the Promised Land.

With Manning set to miss most of the preseason, Sorgi will have a great chance to show what he’s got. With a five-game preseason slate, Sorgi will get tons of reps with the first team.

Enter Quinn Gray and Jared Lorenzen (insert fat quarterback joke here). Can either of these guys steal Sorgi’s thunder and become the man with the clipboard? Gray might have a shot. At 6-foot-3, 254 pounds, the 29-year-old out of Florida A&M stepped in and started four games for the Jaguars when David Garrard went down with an injury last season. He played well, threw 10 touchdown passes, and led the Jaguars to a pair of big midseason wins.

Lorenzen has no chance. At nearly 300 pounds, he won’t stick on the Colts’ roster.

While Peyton strolls the sidelines this preseason, it will be interesting to see how Sorgi responds, and if it’s finally time for a new No. 2 in Indy.