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Blog Entry

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

Posted on: January 30, 2012 10:01 am
Edited on: January 30, 2012 3:14 pm
Manning 'determined' to play in 2012. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

It's been more than a year since Peyton Manning played in an NFL game, but just five weeks out from a $28 million roster bonus coming due, the Colts have to make a decision on his future in Indianapolis. Teams are already lining up for his services (allegedly, of course) -- both those with obvious quarterback needs and others who may be willing to reconsider their current quarterback situation.

The problem: no one knows how healthy Manning is. He missed the 2011 season after undergoing three neck surgeries in two years, and Sports Illustrated's Peter King reported Sunday that Manning is struggling to get healthy before March 8, the day he's to receive the aforementioned roster bonus.

King adds: "No one knows yet if he'll play at all. In the last few days ... I've heard mixed reports about his physical condition. There is no guarantee he'll be healthy enough for any team to build its offense around."

King also seconded something we wrote on the Eye on Football blog: Colts owner Jim Irsay didn't make a decision on Manning's future "weeks ago."

['s Full Super Bowl Coverage]

"I talked to Colts owner Irsay over the weekend, and he insisted, contrary to an report that he decided 'weeks ago' to part ways with Manning, that he hasn't done any such thing," King wrote Monday.

"There has been no decision,'' Irsay told King. "This thing is still up in the air. I guarantee you I have not made the decision."

On Monday, Peyton's non-football-playing brother, Cooper, told NFL Network's Albert Breer that Manning was "determined" to play in 2012.

"What I do know is Peyton is going to do every single thing a human being can possibly do to get ready to play again," Cooper said from New Orleans according to Breer. "Where, when and how he'll play, that's all up in the air. But as far as his body goes, Peyton's smart, he'll know what to do. Anyone predicting what will happen now going forward is just wasting their breath. But he is working as hard as anyone can work to get out there again." 

Without knowing the state of Manning's recovery but with Irsay having already begun the housecleaning process, it's fair to assume that Manning may have played his last game for the Colts. He won't be out of work long, though; in fact, we wouldn't be surprised if some truly desperate team took a flier on him even if he's not yet cleared to return to the field. After all, the NFL is a passing league woefully short on passers. 

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Since: Jan 18, 2012
Posted on: January 30, 2012 12:34 pm

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

Manning has never been the strongest, never had the best arm, never ever the quickest; but he out-willed and out-played virtually everybody else on the field.  His work ethic is second to none.  If he comes back, for any team, he damn well better be healthy enough to play. 

Since: Aug 7, 2007
Posted on: January 30, 2012 12:27 pm

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

And it seems I am suffering from keyboard dyslexia this morning.....Undecided

Since: Aug 7, 2007
Posted on: January 30, 2012 12:25 pm

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

none of them are being reported as to exactly what were the procedures he had done.

Actually, it has been reported what he had done. The thrid surgery was a surgery of last resort, a discectomy and spinal fusion. The disc in question was removed, replaced with bone, and then the adjoing two vertebrae were fused together with plates and screws.

He will never play NFL football again. The first two surgeries were performed so they DIDN'T have to perform the fusion, but they didn't work.

Peyton Manning's career is over and even Irsay knows that. That's why he says Peyton will remain a Colt if he's healthy enough to play. Irsay KNOWS he will never be healthy enough to play, which is why he's confidently moving forward with the rebuilding porcess.

Since: Jan 19, 2009
Posted on: January 30, 2012 12:18 pm

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

I would be very surprised if Manning EVER plays again.  Serioulsy three neck surgeries and none of them are being reported as to exactly what were the procedures he had done.  Started as a "simple" pinched nerve operation and has turned into a disaster.  Let that be a lesson for anyone considering letting one of these doctors cut your neck or spine.  Too risky, as even one of the richest most influential figures in sports who had every possible resource and expert advice still got hacked.

Now, Imagine a regular schmo like you or me going to Butcher Bob MD for tha same "simple" procedure???  NO THANKS.  And Ive been diagnosed with probably the same type of degenerative disc thing he had.  I'll deal with the pain and do physical therapy til I can no longer move before I let these guys hack up my neck only to make it worse.

Since: Aug 16, 2011
Posted on: January 30, 2012 12:18 pm

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

I wish that they would just stop reporting on this.  Until the bonus is due, none of this's all hear-say.  Let's just all be patient and wait until March 8, then we'll know.

Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: January 30, 2012 12:01 pm

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

Just retire already!! If this was a family member would any of you give him any advice other than to retire?

Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: January 30, 2012 12:01 pm

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

Manning has nothing else left to prove. He has won a super bowl, led Indie to several winning seasons, will go dow nas one of the best QB's of all time and made his money. Time to stick a fork in it while he can still walk. If he wants to stay around the game go coach or take a cush front office job. 

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2012 11:59 am

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

Manning is doing the right thing by not moving back the bonus date..make the Colts decide if they want him or want to let him go.  It is a for Manning.  If he gets paid he can continue to rehab..if the Colts release him Manning will have plenty of time to decide where he will play next year..if he does play.

Since: Aug 26, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2012 11:51 am

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

The obvious solution to this dilemma is very simple... Delay the roster bonus (with Manning's permission of course) until the end of July.  Draft Luck and if Manning is healthy and ready to go, you trade Luck away for some a pro-bowl calibre player and future draft choices from a struggling team... Like say the Jets.   A number 1 or 2 draft choice from the Jets in the 2013 will likely be like gold.  If Manning isn't healthy, you let him go his own way and wish him the best.

Since: Jul 31, 2008
Posted on: January 30, 2012 11:46 am

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

I agree with Mavs Man: decline the bonus and work out a new incentive laden deal that keeps Manning in Indy. Makes sense. Manning doesnt seem to be all about $$$ like other players. He is smart and knows his value and expects to be compensated fairly. He certainly doesnt need the money. That being said as a free agent there are probably about 20 or 25 teams in the NFL who would give him a good deal if Irsay doesnt. Irsay seems like an idiot. If you really dont want him, why not trade him and get something instead of just letting him walk? I say he stays in Indy with a new deal. Why not? If he cant play youve lost nothing. If he can, well then youve got a HOF QB and a mentor for a rookie QB.

Now if I was Manning: Id walk. Take the money and move on. Miami would be good for that neck. How about Tampa? No way he plays for the Redskins.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or