The preseason launches in two days, but Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has yet to practice, after offseason neck surgery. Coach Jim Caldwell addressed the situation on Tuesday.
“Doing well, coming along,” Caldwell said of Manning, in comments distributed by the team. “He’s working extremely hard at it. Doing all the little things that it requires to get him where he wants to be. I think you guys know as well as I do he’s ready to go and will be out there because he is chomping at the bit, that’s for certain.”
So will he be back for training camp? “I’m not certain of that,” Caldwell said.
“He’s doing what the doctor is telling him to do, let’s put it that way,” Caldwell said of Manning. “He is going through his rehab, they have everything mapped out for him and they’re adjusting as it goes so I think he is comfortable with the plan they have set for him.”
Late in the lockout, Manning complained about the lack of access to Colts’ trainers. It remains to be seen whether this has delayed his progress.
Receiver Reggie Wayne thinks that, even without Peyton, the Colts offense is getting better.
“Absolutely,” Wayne said. “I feel like we’ve grown already. A lot of guys are buying into the system, especially the young guys are buying into the system and know what’s going on. We have a game coming up. We’ve got some guys who are excited about that, and even though 18 is not in there, we still have a job to do. Hopefully he can get back sooner rather than later and he can kind of be that extra piece of that puzzle, but there’s nobody with their head down, there’s nobody in the full practice out there just walking through the motions. Everybody is full speed ahead and doing their job.”
They’ll all be able to do their jobs better once “18” comes back. But if he comes back too late, it may not matter.