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: Oct 21, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2012 11:44 am

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

Manning might be having trouble recovering but the Colts are done with him anyway

What with everything the Colts have done makes you think that? 

The Colts hired a DEFENSIVE guy to be the head coach.  That right there makes me think they are going to let Peyton Manning decide if he can play or not.  If they hired an offensive coach you would have a valid argument because what offensive coach wants his QB always changing the plays he calls?  Defensive coach probably wont care as much.

The Colts are in a great position here.  They can draft Andrew Luck and wait on Peyton Manning.  If Manning can go they can trade Luck and get some other draft picks or players to fill gaps they do have.  If Manning cant go then they can give Luck a try out. 

Since: Oct 21, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2012 11:36 am

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

Unless Peyton Manning says he cannot play Indianapolis would be stupid to give up on him.  At the very least trade him to an NFC opponent that you dont have to worry about, but to cut him and let a rival AFC team pick him up and use him to beat the Colts would be insane. 

And if Peyton says he cannot play you have your new offensive coordinator if he is willing to take the job.

But with all he has done in his career and the type of game he plays why would you give up and think Andrew Luck will step in and be any better than him if he says he can play?  And if he can play you could easily get another 10 years out of Manning if the Colts can keep lineman that are good at blocking. 

If the Colts hired an offensive minded head coach then I would say yeah Mannings time is probably done, but they didnt.  They hired a defensive coach which makes me think Irsay is ok paying him $28 Million for the chance he will play again.  And thats the smart money.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: January 30, 2012 11:30 am

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

Am I the only one thinking that Peter King is allowing himself to be played by Jim Irsay?  I'm not saying that Peyton Manning is healthy or isn't -- I can't know that.  But I find it very interesting that less than a week after Irsay and Manning agreed these sorts of things should be kept in-house. we've got Irsay talking about Peyton's future with the team in the same column that talks about the questions lingering around Peyton's health.  I smell a rat in the kitchen and his name is Irsay.

I retain the right to be wrong later on down the road when more information comes out from Peyton's side of the story.  However, I think Irsay is trying to poison the water for Peyton's services with everybody else in the NFL.  The Colts are clearly not going to trade Peyton-- otherwise, they'd be talking up his strong recovery and his future in the NFL as one of the all-time greats.  That's not happening.  Manning might be having trouble recovering but the Colts are done with him anyway-- in spite of what Irsay says to Peter King.

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2012 11:28 am

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

If PM does retire I think he could have a good career as a comedic actor.  Think of a white OJ that doesn't kill his wife or break into hotel rooms to steal sports memorabilia.

Since: Dec 5, 2011
Posted on: January 30, 2012 11:20 am

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

I really hate to say this but maybe it's time for Peyton Manning to  retire from playing.

Since: Sep 26, 2011
Posted on: January 30, 2012 11:20 am

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

...the #s are just to big to make this work...a bad convergence of contract and winners here!

One can only hope that the cool, calm and reserved Peyton Manning isn't suckered into the last big pay check by returning to the organized violence that takes place between the lines before he's 100%...

..and really, can he be 100% ever again?...I'd say no....leaveing everyone with uncomfortable choices to make...

..unproven recovery meets 28 true reality, if he plays, if he takes the big hit, the only guy ruined forever will be Peyton Manning  and he must know that...for all the love, when the checks get cut, payers are looking for big returns on investment.... I just don't see how this won't play out like a boxer fighting just one more fight when he should have hung it up instead.

   For the Colts and their fans, they miraculously will land Andrew Luck

...for Peyton, it'll be sad to see him carted off the field in a DeadSkins uni     &n

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: January 30, 2012 11:05 am

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

While from the sidelines this sometimes looks easy, sit back wait for the deadline to come and go, if the Colts want him they'll pay him the bonus, if not he goes where he wants.  He certainly doesn't need the money, but to rework the contract and possibly blow $28 million is a bit much, and not many people would do it.  He could get half the bonus on the deadline date, then the rest would b3e based on his play for the year.  Always a possibility.  He really wants to retire a Colt (I'm guessing) very few one team players in today's game.  Still, if he quits, he has Coaching, who wouldn't want him as a QB Coach (huh Indy), announcing, hello ESPN and CBS, his commercials are fantastic (a guy's gotta work) and I"m sure there wouls be a spot if not Head Coach at UT.  His problems are what the rest of us should have.

Since: Feb 21, 2007
Posted on: January 30, 2012 11:05 am

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

What will happen is they will decline his roster bonus, then resign him to an incentive-laden 1 or 2 year deal.

Since: Nov 25, 2010
Posted on: January 30, 2012 11:04 am

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

As someone who has had nerve issues and neck surgery, I would advise Peyton to be very grateful for the career he has had and walk away, while he still can 'walk' away. Football is a violent game, and there is no reason to risk your health now that you are even more at risk due to the surgeries, especially at your age and stage of your career. You have won awards, set records, won a Super Bowl, and have the respect and admiration of your teammates, opposing players, and many fans. What really is left when one's health is at risk?

Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: January 30, 2012 11:01 am

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

Peyton should not risk his health on another 2-3 seasons.  He won a Super Bowl, has had an execellent career to say the least and really has nothing left to prove to anyone.  With his history and reputation, he could easily land a coaching job (QB coach) or as an analyst in the blink of an eye.  Playing the game should be a last option when one hit could break your neck and permenantly debilitate your life.  Best wishes for Peyton, thanks for the memories!

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