|Peyton has been relegated to the press box. (Getty Images)|
There is no timetable for Peyton Manning's return, yet he remains on the Colts' active roster. He's had three neck surgeries in 19 months, the latest coming September 8.
"I do hope to get healthy, and when I'm healthy and cleared to play, I want to be out there," Manning told the Indianapolis Star Friday. "But I'm off the clock as far as that goes. I'm just trying to follow the doctors' orders and get healthy."
For now, all Manning can do is wait. Wait for the neck to heal, wait for the doctors to okay his return to the field, and wait to save an organization that seems lost without him. But while he's relegated to walking laps around the practice field, he's not wasting time feeling sorry for himself.
"I walked around for a while angry, in a bad mood. … 'Woe is me,' " he told the Star. "I've gotten over that. It doesn't do any good. I'm learning to deal with it and trying to have a good attitude. I'm not walking around looking for any pity party."
Manning's does more than offer quarterback Kerry Collins sideline tips between series. In preparation for Sunday night's matchup with the Steelers, Manning has been helping offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen devise a game plan to slow Pittsburgh's zone-blitzing scheme.
"He's such a great resource," Christensen said, via the Star. "Nobody knows this offense better than him. He's a genius on protections. He's a genius on game plans."
There's no question that Manning would make a hell of a coach, it's just that he signed a five-year, $90 million contract in July and, at 35, he's not yet ready to call it a wrap on his playing career. For the time being, he'll have to watch the Colts play from the press box but admits that "Eventually I'd like to get back on the sidelines just to be around. You really miss that."
Yeah, we know, Peyton. We've seen the Colts without you.
After coming off a shutout victory over the Seahawks last week, the Steelers will take on the struggling Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night at Lucas Oil Stadium. Join Jason Horowitz and NFL.com's Pat Kirwan as they break down this upcoming game.
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