In case it wasn’t already obvious, Colts President Bill Polian has made it clear: Peyton Manning will not play this season.
Although Manning’s recovery from neck surgery has moved along far enough that he can throw a football, he’s not ready to see full-contact game action, and he won’t be ready within the next two weeks.
“On Thursday, we met with the doctors and the rehabilitation folks, and the strength and conditioning folks and our training staff, and in that meeting we outlined where Peyton was and where he might be expected to go in the future,” Polian said after the Colts earned their first win of the season on Sunday.”With respect to that meeting, it was determined by the doctors that there was no chance he would play this year. His rehabilitation has not come far enough to make it prudent for him to step on the field in game action.”
Manning is likely done playing for the Colts, as the team is expected to release him before his $28 million bonus comes due in early 2012. It’s tough to see them paying that kind of money to a soon-to-be 36-year-old who just missed an entire season, and the Colts would take an enormous salary cap hit if they traded Manning. So for Indianapolis, the next step at quarterback will be moving on to Andrew Luck.
And the next time we see Manning on a football field, it will be in some other team’s uniform.