Peyton Manning's been the story of the NFL preseason thus far, thanks to a complicated neck surgery he underwent 15 weeks ago and the slow process which which he's recovered.
It became a bigger story on Monday when the Colts announced that not only has his rehab "slowed," but that Manning won't practice leading up to the Week 1 game against the Texans and will be listed as "doubtful" on the official injury report.
"During the last week, the rate of improvement in Peyton’s rehabilitation process slowed," the Colts said in a statement released by the team Monday. "Over the weekend Peyton experienced soreness in his back. It was originally thought to be a normal reaction to his rehabilitation regimen. When the soreness persisted, the Colts medical team decided to initiate diagnostic tests and to consult with a number of specialists around the country who have been involved in Peyton’s case from the outset. That process continues.
"As a result of the most recent development the doctors have decided that Peyton will not practice. His participation therefore, in Sunday’s game versus Houston will likely be doubtful. We will update his playing status as required by NFL policy as the week goes on."
The Colts also added that "the end date" of Peyton's recovery "is unpredictable" and that "it serves no useful purpose to speculate about hypothetical outcomes."
Which is precisely what I'll do right now: it doesn't look good for Peyton playing.
|Colts Crazy Preseason|
That seems insane, but, hey it's been a busy day for Indy, who also announced that new gameday consultant Jim Tressel would serve a non-suspension suspension for the first six games of the season.
And it's still entirely possible that Peyton does play in Week 1 against Houston. Here's the logic for why he won't: Indianapolis has 16 games they'll play this season, and while the first one against Houston is extremely important, it won't decide the fate of their 2011 season.
Additionally, the newest backup in town, Kerry Collins, has seen the Texans a time or two in his career. And while he's just 3-4 against Houston (which probably won't impress at least one of his wide receivers) he has completed 53.8 percent of his passes for 1,550 yards in seven games while throwing for six touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Those aren't Peyton Manning numbers, of course, but they're also not Curtis Painter numbers either.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.