The Colts are 0-3, but their season is essentially over. Peyton Manning will not be coming back to save the team.
Owner Jim Irsay announced at a breakfast meeting with Super Bowl donors Monday that Manning is expected to miss the entire season, according to WISH-TV in Indianapolis.
Irsay may be speaking out of turn, but you can do that when you own the team. Even if the Colts don’t make a move to injured reserve official just yet, this is a sign the Colts have no expectations Manning will return.
We suspect the Colts will have to follow this up with an official statement. It makes no sense for Irsay to say this publicly otherwise.
The article reports that Manning wouldn’t be able to practice until December. If the Colts place Manning on injured reserve, he couldn’t officially practice at all because of league rules. UPDATE: It was Irsay that said Manning could practice in December. That would seemingly indicate the team won’t make any move official. (Or it indicates Irsay doesn’t know the I.R. rules.)
Assuming Manning is down for the count in 2011, the question becomes who else besides Manning will be on the Colts quarterback depth chart in 2012.
Indianapolis will surely have a high draft pick in a good year for college quarterbacks. They may just be high enough to draft Andrew Luck first overall.