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Peyton Manning moves to “next phase” of rehab, with no timetable for a return

Indianapolis' Peyton Manning watches his team against the Panthers during an NFL football game in Indianapolis Reuters

Colts quarterback Peyton Manning is moving closer to a return to the field after surgery to fuse two bones in his neck, his third neck procedure in less than two years.

When Manning will be able to play remains unknown.

“X-ray and CT examination of the surgical area shows that the fusion performed in September has achieved firm fixation,” Dr. Robert Watkins said in a statement released by the team. “Peyton will now be allowed to increase the intensity and breadth of his workouts as tolerated.  There remains every indication that his recovery will continue.  There still is no timetable for Peyton’s return to practice, which is one of many steps in his expected return to game action.  He is working hard on a rehabilitation program outlined in conjunction with myself, Erin Barill and Peyton.  His response to this plan in the future will dictate his return date.”

“I am encouraged with what Doc had to say,” Manning said. “I am happy that I can increase my rehabilitation program as outlined by him, [Director of Rehabilitation] Erin [Barill] and the Colts Medical Staff.  I am hopeful for continued progress in this next phase of my rehab.”

The Colts would like to see Manning practice at some point before the end of the season, since the Colts have to decide by late February 2012 whether to pay him a $28 million option bonus in late February.  Absent firm knowledge that he’ll be able to play in 2012 and unless Manning agrees to delay the due date for the payment, the Colts may have to cut him.

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70 Responses to “Peyton Manning moves to “next phase” of rehab, with no timetable for a return”
  1. flavordave says: Dec 1, 2011 6:59 PM

    And the Colts gave him that contract before he left for surgery? I still dont understand that one.

  2. croghan1919 says: Dec 1, 2011 7:00 PM

    Yea!!!

  3. dlmcc1010 says: Dec 1, 2011 7:00 PM

    If I would have told you two years ago that the colts would cut Peyton Manning so that they could draft another QB, I would be laughed at. Life is crazy sometimes

  4. earthtopft says: Dec 1, 2011 7:01 PM

    “Next phase” is Freedom 35, Payments. Deal with it.

  5. fijabbersman345 says: Dec 1, 2011 7:02 PM

    Hahah…12 months ago, if anybody wrote something about the Colts cutting Peyton, they’d be called a lunatic. So much can change in a year. I hope he gets better, though, the game isn’t the same without him.

  6. skoobyfl says: Dec 1, 2011 7:05 PM

    If the Colts cut Manning, he’ll make $50 Million more guaranteed.

    Manning is the gel that keeps a team winning.

  7. mikeyz6 says: Dec 1, 2011 7:05 PM

    just end his season on IR already….

    whats the point….

  8. mrgroovesd says: Dec 1, 2011 7:05 PM

    I would like to see him still be able to play. As a Bolt fan, I didn’t like him. As a sports fan or NFL fan, he is good for the game. He puts on a good performance. He was a good highlight reel. Hope he does play still. Hate to see him go out of the game like this instead of on his own.

  9. surly1n1nd1anapol1s says: Dec 1, 2011 7:08 PM

    Great news for Colts fans!

  10. golonger says: Dec 1, 2011 7:09 PM

    timetable for return…..NEVER

  11. christiandrew25 says: Dec 1, 2011 7:16 PM

    yeah, that makes sense, cut the NUMBER 2 PLAYER IN THE NFL.

    can’t wait for him to pick up right where he left off next year, and all you idiot “analyst” have to eat crow on all this colts need to cut manning talk.

  12. tgreenway88 says: Dec 1, 2011 7:16 PM

    Dude is done, will never be the same qb. Look how fast mcnabb went south. And never missed a year with a major neck procedure.

  13. punisher129 says: Dec 1, 2011 7:29 PM

    Hey earthtopft was that a sly Trailer Park Boys reference?

  14. glac1 says: Dec 1, 2011 7:34 PM

    He needs to play so the organization knows what they have and can plan accordingly.

  15. unbiased8383 says: Dec 1, 2011 7:36 PM

    tgreenway88 says:
    Dec 1, 2011 7:16 PM
    Dude is done, will never be the same qb. Look how fast mcnabb went south. And never missed a year with a major neck procedure.
    ——————————————-
    McNabb went south after he left Reid’s QB friendly system. There is no comparison here.

  16. macker1283 says: Dec 1, 2011 7:40 PM

    Oh yea, I’m sure the Colts will definitely cut him. The player separating their team from 13-3 and 0-16.

  17. barneysbullet says: Dec 1, 2011 7:42 PM

    MANNING ISN’T GETTING CUT…GET OVER IT ALREADY. He IS the Colts…and he will be Andrew Luck’s HC in the very near future…YES!!!

  18. jpalughi823 says: Dec 1, 2011 7:45 PM

    his return can’t come soon enough.

  19. blaz0037 says: Dec 1, 2011 7:50 PM

    Cut him?

    Will not happen.

    End of story.

  20. thefiesty1 says: Dec 1, 2011 7:55 PM

    Go on IR and then teach Lock how to play in the NFL. He’s paid his dues and now is not the time to bail out the hapless Colts and risk not getting the future to the franchise.

  21. smack1114 says: Dec 1, 2011 7:56 PM

    I love Peyton and his ability to make fun of himself so he had to see that his neck could not support that forehead forever.

  22. maninmo says: Dec 1, 2011 7:57 PM

    Colts need to trade that #1 draft pick and start loading up on defense.

  23. childressrulz says: Dec 1, 2011 7:57 PM

    he will be serviceable but not nearly as dominant as he ever was.

  24. seatownballers says: Dec 1, 2011 8:01 PM

    Manning is a hall of famer that kept me watching even though I never cared for the colts. They wont release facts that he is done. Best news is, he will will stay with the team, become the offensive coordinator, and train andrew luck all his fine knowledge and tricks. Smile, colts will be contending next year

  25. golonger says: Dec 1, 2011 8:06 PM

    To all those kidding yourself…….the Colts will NEVER be able to keep Manning AND Luck….never happen….and they will NOT pass up on Luck….so what does that mean???….Manning is gone….he is done…..PERIOD

  26. 7thlombardiontheway says: Dec 1, 2011 8:11 PM

    LOL! Manning robbed the Colts blind in this case. Smooth move. Retire with the $

  27. jutts says: Dec 1, 2011 8:16 PM

    Colts are a Joke. Irsay, Polian and the coaching staff should be ashamed. Banned from the league or atleast the arena league is were they should be. To go from a Super bowl winner to 0 and 16 in a couple of years? It’s a Joke.

  28. wannabeqb says: Dec 1, 2011 8:19 PM

    I can only think of one reason he is not on IR already.

    By keeping him active, the cap hit from his salary effectively means that the Colts are working with a significantly lower salary cap than the rest of the NFL. Therefore they will likely have the worst record and draft Luck or trade the #1 pick.

    It’s not a dumb strategy but it’s one I wouldn’t want my team to be connected with.

  29. kwalk4780 says: Dec 1, 2011 8:30 PM

    Good news. The NFL is a better place with a healthy Peyton. Good
    luck.

  30. pmilz45 says: Dec 1, 2011 8:32 PM

    I love how everybody on PFT are all of a sudden certified surgeons. Great players of his caliber will always be able to perfrom. When Brady went down in the 1st Quarter of the 2006 season, there were people who doubted his game. All he did was come back and throw 50 TDs..no big deal. I understand a neck injury and a leg injury are two completely different problems, but seriously, how can all of you count out one of the most consistent players of all time because of a lost season due to health. Give me a break.

    And comparing McNabb to Manning was probably the worst argument you could make..lets be serious.

  31. bozosforall says: Dec 1, 2011 8:39 PM

    golonger says:
    Dec 1, 2011 7:09 PM
    timetable for return…..NEVER

    __
    Timetable for golonger to get a life…NEVER

  32. ditaksdika says: Dec 1, 2011 8:40 PM

    my dad had this surgery two years ago and still isn’t fully recouperated. Granted, he isn’t a world class athlete, but still.

    Time to clean house in indy…what a mess that place has become.

    signing someone to a mega contract like that and not even having them take a physical is just plain stupid. And manning is a punk for doing that to indy.

  33. bozosforall says: Dec 1, 2011 8:40 PM

    christiandrew25 says:
    Dec 1, 2011 7:16 PM
    yeah, that makes sense, cut the NUMBER 2 PLAYER IN THE NFL.

    can’t wait for him to pick up right where he left off next year, and all you idiot “analyst” have to eat crow on all this colts need to cut manning talk.

    __
    How do you figure that Drew Brees is better than Peyton Manning?

  34. megatronownsyou says: Dec 1, 2011 8:44 PM

    If he came back this would give you guys something else to write about and maybe we wouldn’t have to hear so much garbage from you about Tebo and Suh.

  35. bozosforall says: Dec 1, 2011 8:48 PM

    golonger says:
    Dec 1, 2011 8:06 PM
    To all those kidding yourself…….the Colts will NEVER be able to keep Manning AND Luck….never happen….and they will NOT pass up on Luck….so what does that mean???….Manning is gone….he is done…..PERIOD

    __
    You are an IDIOT, dumbass Pats fan.

    Irsay has already gone on the record as saying that he CAN afford to keep both if he drafts Luck, mainly because the cost of drafting Luck is much lower under the new CBA than it was under the old. Then again, I don’t expect idiot Pats fans like you to ever understand how the salary cap works anyway.

  36. tgreenway88 says: Dec 1, 2011 8:49 PM

    Vince young is being compared to a high school quarterback in Reid’s “qb friendly” offense… Book it, three operations on a neck. Really don’t have to be all that bright to imagine him not coming back to pre neck injury manning.

  37. badtimeoutcaldwell says: Dec 1, 2011 8:53 PM

    flavordave says:
    Dec 1, 2011 6:59 PM
    And the Colts gave him that contract before he left for surgery? I still dont understand that one.

    ———————————-

    Are you kidding me? Isn’t it clear why they gave him the contract before surgery?? Because he was the ONLY chance that this team was even competitive or relevant.

    With him: Colts are Superbowl contenders and makes the whole organization look like geniuses.

    Without him: biggest joke of an organziation and exposes everyone from Polian down to Caldwell as incompetent clowns…

    Even if there was a 20% chance of him playing this season, it was worth the risk… why you ask? Because look at how HORRIBLE they are without him? He’s getting paid $18 million/ year and it has become very clear that if anything… he is been UNDERPAID!

  38. badtimeoutcaldwell says: Dec 1, 2011 8:57 PM

    wannabeqb says:
    Dec 1, 2011 8:19 PM
    I can only think of one reason he is not on IR already.

    By keeping him active, the cap hit from his salary effectively means that the Colts are working with a significantly lower salary cap than the rest of the NFL. Therefore they will likely have the worst record and draft Luck or trade the #1 pick.

    It’s not a dumb strategy but it’s one I wouldn’t want my team to be connected with.

    ———————

    LOL…. stupidest post yet. There is no change to their salary cap if he goes on IR… But keep typing like you know what you are talking about with your moronic conspiracy theories….

  39. bozosforall says: Dec 1, 2011 8:58 PM

    jutts says:
    Dec 1, 2011 8:16 PM
    Colts are a Joke. Irsay, Polian and the coaching staff should be ashamed. Banned from the league or atleast the arena league is were they should be. To go from a Super bowl winner to 0 and 16 in a couple of years? It’s a Joke.

    ___

    You mean like the Celtics did back in 1978, sucking so bad so that they could get Larry Bird, despite having won the NBA title back in 1976?

    Maybe they should have banned them too…or made them play in the Continental Basketball Association.

    The only joke is fans like you.

  40. mcjon22 says: Dec 1, 2011 9:14 PM

    Question. Why would Luck want to go to Indy if Peyton is still there? I’d bet a very large amount of money Peyton will be gone, or Luck will pull an Eli and make the Colts trade him. No one wants to sit on the bench for 3-4 years when you’re the 1st overall pick.

  41. seanx40 says: Dec 1, 2011 9:15 PM

    This is all nice and everything…but it doesn’t answer anything. Can he still throw a football? That is all that matters.

  42. flavordave says: Dec 1, 2011 9:31 PM

    @badtimout – Are you kidding me? They fused two bones in his neck dude. You dont see a concern investing tens of millions upon that? Pay for his past then you knucklehead. Hes an obvious NFL MVP this year simply for how bad the Colts are without him but you dont give him a huge contract weeks before his neck gets fused.

  43. philtration says: Dec 1, 2011 9:40 PM

    I don’t believe that he will ever play again.
    Not just for the Colts but for anyone.
    A co-worker of mine had the same surgery and the guy that performed it gave him a list of things that he should never do again to avoid a serious spinal injury.
    He was told to never even ride a roller-coaster again and there is no way that a roller coaster ride is half as dangerous as playing QB in the NFL.
    Manning has money, a Super Bowl ring and will be a fist ballot Hall of Famer.
    He does not need to prove anything or risk his health any longer.

  44. badtimeoutcaldwell says: Dec 1, 2011 9:40 PM

    flavordave says:
    Dec 1, 2011 9:31 PM
    @badtimout – Are you kidding me? They fused two bones in his neck dude. You dont see a concern investing tens of millions upon that? Pay for his past then you knucklehead. Hes an obvious NFL MVP this year simply for how bad the Colts are without him but you dont give him a huge contract weeks before his neck gets fused.

    ———————

    Flavordave… you need to get your timeline straight before you start posting. The neck fusion surgery was done about 6 weeks AFTER he signed his contract.

    Again… If this is what they look like WITHOUT him, why wouldn’t they hope and do everything they can to keep him there?

  45. diablito0402 says: Dec 1, 2011 9:50 PM

    Everyone saying shame on manning for rippin off the colts, shut up!! Manning has made that sorry franchise into a power house and made colts ownership billions while playing,, its called curtesy to give manning his money, its a thank you manning for making the colts relevant.

  46. 7thlombardiontheway says: Dec 1, 2011 9:54 PM

    @bozosforall Take a breather. I know it hurts to have your record. Oh wait, I dont…..

  47. brintfatre says: Dec 1, 2011 9:55 PM

    Get your Titan’s Manning jersey now before the rush!

  48. eleventyeight says: Dec 1, 2011 10:05 PM

    A neck fusion is the most painful, debilitating, dangerous surgery possible shy of a major organ transplant. I’ve had one and I WAS in world-class athlete-level health. My attempt to regain my strength and agility were futile at best and never did i begin to approach my former capabilities. Since my work relied on my ability to carry very heavy equipment long distances and occasionally run, jump, dive to the ground or freeze in place while holding said heavy gear I finally had to accept that, after 13 months of incessant and determined rehabbing, my neck was hurting and causing an unacceptable distraction in the form of new, intense pain in addition to the already heavy load on my mind and body. Although all the “checkups” were affirmative my pain continued unabated and eventually manifested as weakness radiating from the neck out to my shoulders, elbows, wrists lower back and , ultimately to my fingers. Once my fingers became unreliable under heavy load I became a liability to my coworkers. No one knew this but me and I was ashamed to admit that i couldn’t hack the pain; conversely, i couldn’t risk the serious implications of my failure to be able to do my part. After 24 months of struggling, at the instence of my wife, I went in for one more “final” checkup only to discover another, newer “hairline” fracture along the fusion plate. he doc said one more wrong move under load might have been my last. Ever.

    I’ve loved you, and hated you, Peyton Manning, but please do not play hit-or-miss with your life or your continued well-being. That you’ve recovered so well already from a spinal fusion is a gift from your Higher Power; do not test it.

    Accept that you have risen to the level of legend and step away whole. Show the rest of them that there IS more to life than football.

    Please.

  49. deconjonesbitchslap says: Dec 1, 2011 10:29 PM

    i would have checked into rehab if i was a colt this year too. he’s ahead of his time, i tellz ya.

  50. jrmbadger says: Dec 1, 2011 10:35 PM

    “pmilz45 says:
    Dec 1, 2011 8:32 PM
    I love how everybody on PFT are all of a sudden certified surgeons. ….”

    You must be new here. Little known fact that there are more neurosurgeons and other doctors on this site than any other internet blog. EVER.

    Just check out any thread talking about “concussion like symptoms,” “HGH” (lots of Doctors opining that Matthews is on HGH), or here at the Peyton Manning thread.

    Either that or Holiday Inn Express is getting a lot of business lately from people who live in their mom’s basement.

  51. stevenfbrackett says: Dec 1, 2011 10:42 PM

    At this point, Manning should probably retire. He doesn’t need the money, he’s not young anymore, and he can still go out as one of the best ever (without falling into to the “Favre-zone” — staying around about three years too long and making an utter fool of himself and his legacy).

    And let’s face it, he’s one Suh dirty play away from permanent disability. Seriously, if Suh pulls his usual neck wrenching/twisting off of the helmet on him as he does to someone every single game, he might never recover to even ‘regular Joe’ level fitness.

  52. lookatthefarside says: Dec 1, 2011 10:56 PM

    If Peyton does choose to play, I hope the best for him and his neck.

  53. woodyc says: Dec 1, 2011 11:14 PM

    Cut Manning, One of the best QB’s in the history of the NFL, REALLY??????????? Would the Chicago Bulls have cut Michael Jordan when he was injured? I don’t care if the Colts owed him 28 billion dollars, they’re not cutting the best player in the history of their team.

  54. jrs1972 says: Dec 1, 2011 11:36 PM

    He’ll retire, if he does come back I can’t see him being too focused knowing one awkward hit and he’s a paraplegic.

  55. arhymingape says: Dec 2, 2011 12:37 AM

    stevenfbrackett says: Dec 1, 2011 10:42 PM

    At this point, Manning should probably retire. He doesn’t need the money, he’s not young anymore, and he can still go out as one of the best ever (without falling into to the “Favre-zone” — staying around about three years too long and making an utter fool of himself and his legacy).

    And let’s face it, he’s one Suh dirty play away from permanent disability. Seriously, if Suh pulls his usual neck wrenching/twisting off of the helmet on him as he does to someone every single game, he might never recover to even ‘regular Joe’ level fitness.—————————————————————————–

    Funny thing is that they play the Lions next year. If Suh was to do that to Manning he would be banned.

  56. duffer58 says: Dec 2, 2011 1:11 AM

    I hope he is back for playoffs.

  57. pmilz45 says: Dec 2, 2011 1:21 AM

    @jrmbadger

    hey buddy, just in case you’re too stupid to understand, I was talking about the people commenting on this thread, not the writers of Pro Football Talk. Im prettttttttttty sure most of us READING these articles and posting comments are NOT neurosurgeons like you say, were just trying stay current with the NFL. So maybe think about what im saying next time, because 32 other ppl seemed to get my point.

  58. lgwelsh1 says: Dec 2, 2011 3:02 AM

    It’s not worth the risk, someone needs to talk some sense into him. He needs to retire and spend time with his family. He is 36 years old
    and had a great career, how many years does he have left AFTER missing an entire season this year? He will be 37 years old playing with a bum neck and is one hit away from possibly being permanently disabled.

    He is a fool if he comes back.

  59. mannyicey says: Dec 2, 2011 8:09 AM

    That’s funny. So when Peyton Manning gets cut in order for the Colts to pick up the rookie Luck, the Indianapolis Colts fans will be extremely happy.

    Oh, and the San Diego Chargers- looking to bolster their bench, will pick up Peyton Manning as their solid bench QB to back up Philip Rivers… you know,just in case something happens to Rivers they’ll have someone with a little playoff experience that can hold down the fort until Rivers comes back from injury.

    I tell you- somewhere, a smoking white man tried to write this in black and white for the Twilight Zone in 1963, but it was rejected as being too unbelievable.

  60. golonger says: Dec 2, 2011 8:09 AM

    bozosforall – timetable for you to get a clue….NEVER!

  61. golonger says: Dec 2, 2011 8:10 AM

    pmilz45 – dumbest post i think i have ever seen…Manning has a NECK INJURY….far different from other injuries….sorry you just cannot understand this!!!!

  62. golonger says: Dec 2, 2011 8:12 AM

    woodyc – sorry, you are dellusional. If the 49ers let Montana walk…..of course it can happen…Manning is and always was over-rated to begin with………he is done………now the Colts can maybe win some championships!!!!

  63. golonger says: Dec 2, 2011 8:15 AM

    diablito0402 – first of all, players aren’t paid on “curtesy”……secondly, learn how to spell! The fact that so many agreed with your ridiculous post shows how flat out stupid and backwoods most Colts fans are!

  64. CKL says: Dec 2, 2011 9:18 AM

    woodyc says:
    Dec 1, 2011 11:14 PM
    Cut Manning, One of the best QB’s in the history of the NFL, REALLY??????????? Would the Chicago Bulls have cut Michael Jordan when he was injured? I don’t care if the Colts owed him 28 billion dollars, they’re not cutting the best player in the history of their team.
    _________________________________
    So what was Johnny Unitas then??????? Colts football didn’t start in 1998 when PM was drafted.

    Much as I loathe PM I hope he makes a full recovery and can live a normal life. That said all this drama queen stuff about how the game isn’t the same without him is nonsense IMO.

  65. cleekk says: Dec 2, 2011 12:33 PM

    Not sure why there are so many venomous posts about this. On the one hand, it is possible for 2 neck injuries to get the same treatment and have 2 different outcomes. I’m guessing Manning has access to some of the more sophisticated doctors out there. The most probable scenario is that if Manning’s doctors examine him and pass him physically, he will return, otherwise, not. And frankly, ALL football players are one play away from paralysis, not just Manning. Manning isn’t really known for a lack of intelligence, so it probably stands to reason that he will assess the risks and respond accordingly. Quite frankly, I’m ready for him to retire, return to UT and start his 4th legendary career straightening out the mess that is the Volunteers.

  66. 00ringling00 says: Dec 2, 2011 1:04 PM

    the wise thing to do is withdraw, take the speaking tour, write a book, wait five years til the Hall Induction and start something new. Thank Fran Tarkington ESPN maybe

  67. theberk25 says: Dec 2, 2011 4:55 PM

    I think he will come back. At a 100 percent? I doubt he will ever be a 100 percent ever again but lets face it guys peyton mannings 80 to 90 percent is still better then 90 percent of the current QBs at 100 percent. I can tell you i had the same surgery and felt alot better after a year but my neck will never again be at 100 percent. I can also tell you even if he is pain free he will never have full mobility in his neck again. I am a hockey player and the lack of mobility messed my mechanics up a bit. I can tell you he is always gonna have a job in the nfl if not as a player then as a coach. He would make one hell of a QB coach!!!!!

  68. golonger says: Dec 2, 2011 8:32 PM

    Nope….he wont come back…..inside sources say this is the case…..but, darn, i will miss all those stupid commercials

  69. piuscruz says: Dec 7, 2011 7:33 PM

    hard to believe

  70. piuscruz says: Dec 7, 2011 7:35 PM

    @ckl

    unbelievable including unitas in the history on the current colts franchise. if you were to utter that statement you made in the city of baltimore you would be in the hospital

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