ESPN is reporting that doctors have cleared Peyton Manning to resume his NFL career.
While on the surface this would appear to be good news, reading the quotes, however, paints a different picture. Here is the sentence that everyone should pay close attention to:
The sources said Watkins examined Manning recently in Los Angeles and concluded the stability in his neck would have allowed the quarterback to play this Sunday if the nerves in his arm had regenerated to a satisfactory performance level.
So what did we learn? Unfortunately, nothing new. That Manning's spine and neck have healed and are stable is great news, but the important factor, with regards to his comeback, is the part regarding his nerve regeneration: "if the nerves in his arm had regenerated to a satisfactory performance level."
In other words, Manning's nerves haven't regenerated enough for him to perform on the football field. While the fact that Manning's nerves haven't completely regenerated 5 months into a possible 12-month recovery is not all that alarming or surprising, there is no guarantee that they will completely regenerate over the next seven months, and none of the quotes in this article or in recent "leaked" news have made any indication that there has been promising nerve regeneration.
We all hope that Manning is able to completely heal and resume his NFL career - preferably in a Colts uniform - but today's news does nothing to make that scenario seem closer to reality.
Polian made a statement on Twitter. Official statement scheduled for tomorrow. http://bit.ly/A7n6BF
"Peyton has not passed our physical nor is he cleared to play for the Indianapolis Colts." FWIW
Exactly what I read into this as well. And like that article, my comment here can therefore be summed up as: "Nothing new to report."
Last time I checked Nate is not a doctor nor anyone on this site...lol this is definitely a good sign for Manning playing football again for another team! I want him to win one or two more SB rings.
Nate and Greg, finally someone else is saying what I said when this "story" was re-leaked today. Nothing new or different from the December statement. It is only making me lose respect for Manning and his people because it is a clear ploy to gain public sympathy or create backlash against Irsay. I am a Colts fan and am very appreciate of what Peyton has done for the franchise and the city but his people should leave the middle school girl-esque rumor mill alone. No need for spreading this garbage to gain popularity. He's already the Golden boy of this city. But the facts speak for themselves, his neck is the same as it was in December and his nerves still haven't regenerated. Case closed.
I'm starting to feel like Nate and Greg are the cops standing in front of a burning building full of fireworks."Nothing to see here folks" " Nothing to see".
@Peyton for President So let me ask you this P4P: What do I (or Nate) have to gain from that?
@GregC Tuff question Greg. My comment was intended to be humorous more than anything, but I'll bite. I'm not going to get into what I think Nate is doing. I'll just tell you what I think your angle is. Your recent article about the superbowl being the focus would be my guess. That you just don't feel now is the appropriate time to have this convo. We've heard from unnamed sources, friends of Jim Irsay on twitter, and every other talking head out there. Now we hear from Manning and his doc that he IS getting better and the probability to return IS getting better, and it's nothing new? If nothing else the story is that Manning is pissed about all the info hat has been leaked (I'm assuming by people close to Irsay) and now Peyton is trying to get out as much contradictory info as possible. I know that both Irsay and Peyton are going to smile and shake hands in front of the camera, and tell people they have come to a mutual agreement, but it is becoming clear that this thing is as bitter as any divorce. It might not be the story you want to tell right now, but it is a story.
@Peyton for President No, we're the people standing in front of the flim-flam man trying to con people saying, "Move along, nothing to see here"/.
Worst article ever, everything they are saying is true, I wish they would have just added in the title that the nerve still has not regenerated.
For a second I was suggesting that the Colts trade the pick, and take a flyer later in the draft at QB, but now I think Peyton is out of here. Do not think the Colts can risk it at this point in time, either it is Luck or a Peyton in waiting, with the abilities that Luck has and the uncertainty and cost that Peyton brings it is not looking good. I think the best thing the Colts could do would be to sign Peyton and then trade him, Irsay has enough money to do this I believe, atleast that way the Colts could get something in return. There are enough teams that want Peyton that Indy may even be able to pull out a 1st rd pick for him.
This actually could be news, just not as good as what we really want. It could be news because Manning being medically cleared could mean that he is given further freedom in what he can do to work out and rehab. He may now be able to take on a much heavier load.
All this is conjecture, but that is my first thought.
@mattshedd As I said previously, and I believe Nate has said as well, to my understanding, and I suppose it's possible that the people I've talked to are just flat-out wrong, but this is not the type of injury that can improve with diligent rehab. Basically, it's down to... "Luck" if his nerve will regenerate to the point where he can throw the ball at an NFL level again.
@GregC Only to an extent. However, even without the tricep nerve, he can build up muscle, throwing strength, etc. What he is losing is not the ability to throw a ball fast, or accurately. He is losing the "quick twitch" muscle memory. In other words, his arm won't naturally do the exact same thing every time he throws the ball.
This can be cured by working his arm enough that all the other muscles have "quick twitch" memory. The problem with this is that it could slightly change his throwing motion, putting more stress on shoulder and elbow and causing him more problems later in life.
All only this Peyton is being treated wrong is BS. Did he treat the Colts wrong by cashing last years checks while not playing? No!
It's a business...if he was healthy it wouldn't be an issue but he isn't completely well. Peyton Manning isn't above the franchise. If he is ready by 3/8 he should be the guy otherwise the run is over.
Cutting someone owed 28mil that can't play yet isn't a travesty
@Supreme Omega I don't think anyone said the Colts would be mistreating Peyton by cutting him.
That's what I am gathering. How has Peyton been mistreated or disrespected? Irsay has made some regrettable comments via twitter but never said anything bad about Manning or questioned his profeasionalism.
The reason they haven't given him a clear answer is because they are unclear about his health situation. If he was/is 100% then I would think he stays. Otherwise he doesn't.
Irsay paid him a considerable amount of money last year knowing he may not play...
Making Irsay the bad guy here is just foolish to me. He should move forward. I am really sick of Colts fans complaining about this situation.
Unlike many I'm not a bandwagon fan and have been here since before they were in Indy. I am excited about Luck and some freakin cap space to get elite talent on D. If Peyton is healthy I am excited about a revived and hungry Manning!
But the only way to ruin this is to pay 28mil on a guy who may not ever be 100%
@Supreme Omega Noone is saying they shouldnøt move on.
The only thing people have blamed Irsay of is going out of his way not to mention Manning as if the mere mentioning of his name or what he has done for the team will prevent them from mving on.
Yeah, I agree, this isn't news. Of course, neither was the "Peyton says he feels good" article, nor the "Luck wants to start" article (because if I were a coach I wouldn't want any players on my team that DIDN'T want to start), nor the "Irsay says if Peyton Manning is healthy he'll be a Colt" article. ESPN is getting as much out of this as they can, and it's a shame it's happening in the week leading up to the Super Bowl.
I am sure that most long-time Colts fans remember the drought from right after the Jets beat us in the Super Bowl, then we won it, until Peyton came to Indy. We have had a wonderful decade with Peyton Manning. Thank you, Mr. Manning for ending the drought that we suffered. The Colts really should name their new stadium after you. Hopefully, after providing you and your family with consistent stability for the rest of your life..and your children's, you can help them out in some capacity.
Mr. Irsay, I am sure that you have realized untold wealth from your knowing Peyton Manning as a person that took you to that realm of comfort. Please treat him well as he enters those twilight years of a magnificent "job" that ends impossibly too soon. So many in this NFL field of vision desire winning above all else. I am sure, by what you have said, that you are thinking in the long term. Thank you for that. Please help Andrew Luck understand the wealth of an impassioned following that is given by rabid fans towards those they love. Thank you, Mr. Irsay, for your time, if you read this post.
When I first read the tweet, I thought WTF! Then, I read the whole article. The tweet states Manning cleared to play which is misleading. Funny how the local news up north here left the nerve issue completely out of the story. The only thing stated was he was cleared to play and he could play this Sunday. Manning is getting exactly what he wants. He's making sure he has a job come fall time. I don't blame him for wanting work but this whole thing is getting nuts. I actually can't wait to get an answer one way or the other so we don't have to listen to all the rumors and misleading information. I'm ready to talk COLTS football!!
Irsay has said more than once, that if Peyton is healthy, he will be playing for the Colts. I remember how Johnny U was treated. That dealing, karma related, brought many years of grief upon this organization. I hope and pray that Peyton gets a fair shake, and that Peyton is not so interested in money as he is perceived as a champion of the game. He has enough money for 20 lifetimes, in a wealthy state. He can only raise his stakes as a human being doing the right thing for the Colts at this time. Irsay has a role to play in this matter also. He has to work it out where Peyton and Luck can both co-exist, with both sharing playing time, while a decent salary is earned by both teacher and student. I personally don't mind a lacking team for two years while a better team emerges for the next decade and a half. Please, Peyton and Jim....work it out for the majority...no matter what all the pundits desire. Please!
Reading some of the pessimism on this post, in these comments, and I feel like I tripped and fell back into Stampede Blue. /disappointed
@Mr. Indianapolis Colts It's a really unfair comment. I won't lie to you, I won't twist the facts for you. I will only report facts and my honest opinion. If you read the ESPN article, you can see that what I'm saying is not pessimism or a lie, the article specifically says nothing positive about the nerve regeneration.
However, I am, now more than ever, in a fully different position concerning what the Colts fans should be doing. We don't need to talk probability--I think we get it. What we need to do is make a decision about what Colt Nation wants. Do we want to take the "safer" bet of rebuilding with a top flight QB prospect and hope for 10 years that are close to as good as the last 10, or do we choose to go for glory, all in on Manning sliver of hope, and build a team around him that gives him the chance to win each of the next 4 years. The second option is sure to put us in cap hell for 1-3 years after Manning is done, but I am willing to do that.
It's time for fans to support their GOAT, not show him the door in the name of reporting integrity.
@mattshedd i guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. If the Colts feel like Luck is the best QB prospect in the next two drafts (because Manning would be back by year 2013, or you've really killed your team) then they have to make the decision this year.
Also ignoring the fact that they have the out in his contract for THIS off-season. If they take the gamble, it's not THIS year that hurts, it's the subsequent years that kill the team if he can't play.
I want a healthy Manning back more than anything, but keeping an unhealthy Manning around is just asking to destroy your team in the long run.
@GregC@Mr. Indianapolis Colts Your last sentence is where I disagree. If there is a significant chance that Manning will miss next year, it still does not hurt our team in the long run to trade the pick and stock up on talent elsewhere. It would hurt our cap for 1-2 years if Manning is on the roster and can't play up to his normal ability (this is where I see the real issue, he can play I am sure, but enough to compete with Brady, Brees, etc?), but it would also give us the opportunity to get another top end QB prospect in the next 1-2 years. Manning is simply worth losing football games for the chance to win a bunch more.
@mattshedd@Mr. Indianapolis Colts If I felt as though Manning were likely to play in 2012, I would do it. I've already written on this site that I'd prefer a healthy Manning and trading the pick. I just said on the podcast this week that I wasn't as convinced as the rest of the world that Andrew Luck will be the greatest player to play in a game which is played.
Butif there's a significant chance that Manning will be unable to play in 2012, the Colts cannot pass up on a QB in the draft.
@GregC@Mr. Indianapolis Colts The nerve has been half the drama playing out here. I would call it new news and good news on the injury front. The fact that he is medically cleared to play amounts to the same as the Drew Brees cut. The Chargers were not sure, they cut him and went with Rivers. The Dolphins did not clear him, the Saints did. Being medically cleared completely different than being healed, I'll give you that but your also ignoring the one key statement from the good Dr. Feuer "If you were my own son, I'd tell you to go play." That tells you that the training staff or at least the neurosurgeon on the training staff says he's good to play. Now if it takes time to regain all of his 'umfff' then it takes time and I think its time they should give him. Is it not also true 28 million dollars is spread out over four years cap wise? If we are looking for cap space then go after the oft injured Clark. We do not need another Bob Sanders (ha I'm laughing at San Diego right now).
@Mr. Indianapolis Colts Yeah, it's not pessimism for the sake of pessimism. Just trying to be clear about what the facts are and that this report didn't actually advance the ball.
@Mr. Indianapolis Colts I dont think its pessimism. No one's making any derogatory or rude comments. We would all rather the world continued as it was in the past when Peyton was destroying foolish opponents and making the likes of Bill Belichick sweat bullets. However some people's accepting the chances of that happening as slim shouldnt make you draw up comparisons to a the twilight zone site.
Yeah but the pessimism here is based in logic.
Your problem may be with reality.
I lol'ed. But so true. The pessimism here is grounded in reality, and the reality is that if Peyton were healthy he would simply release a video of himself throwing 25 yard outs with velocity repeatedly. He can't. So we have what we had here today.
Some men, you just can't reach.
@gizzardfanny Well a few days ago Nate said that if Peyton was close he'd say so, and he did. I'll take Peyton at his word. If he was just casually throwing a ball around why would he be throwing to Gonzo and White? My point is that people keep moving the target as far as what is considered proof.
@Peyton for President@CrizzleColts Certainly it's progress, and it's good news. But the article makes clear it's good news about his NECK. And this news everyone expected. But his neck isn't what will determine his football fate -- his ARM will. If those nerves don't regenerate sufficiently, he'll never play football again. And if they don't regenerate in the next few weeks, he's not going to be a Colt.
Make no mistake; I'm not happy about Manning's struggles. But I am trying to be a realist about them, and what it means for him and the team.
@CrizzleColts So first we all hoped Peyton would just come out and say that he's getting better. He did. We also wished his doctor would clear him. He did. Now we need a video? I have a feeling that if Peyton threw a 60 yard laser that hit you dead between the eyes you'd say "Yea but can he do it again from 70 yards"? Manning wasn't even cleared to practice in Dec. He's been cleared to fully resume ALL football activities. Sounds like progress to me.
My gut tell me that Manning is going to stay put. I know the nerve regeneration is still taking place at its own, unknown, pace, but since he was cleared to throw in December, his timeline of rehabilitation and recovery has been encouraging.
Manning is going to work his ass off until he's back to 100%, and I believe he'll get there before the start of the 2012 season. I wouldn't go so for to say it'll happen before March 8th, but I think that this doctor's news means that he's past the point of incurring physical setbacks concerned with this fusion, and now it's just a matter of strengthening, conditioning, and stimulating nerve growth. But everything is moving in the right direction.
@Mr. Indianapolis Colts If working made any difference, I'd agree with you.
This isn't a 'rehab' injury. You can't work your way back.
It either happens or it doesn't.
So far, it hasn't been happening.
No amount of work can make it happen.
I think it has been happening, just not at a satisfactory rate for the insatiable appetite of the MSM. Add to that the fact that nerve regeneration is hardly something you can put an accurate timetable on, and you have a perceived brick wall. But just because you can't put a timetable on it doesn't mean it's not happening, imo.
The simple fact that you and I know about as much about nerve regeneration as my dog makes any sort of back-and-forth about the subject an exercise in futility. The doctors say he's improving, and I believe them. Manning says he's improving, and I believe him. Manning's throwing routes to Wide Receivers at the complex, and I believe this.
Soooo Glad he is doing better. I sincerely hope that he stays a Colt but not for 28mil unless he is 100% healed...
Dr. Watkins also said "If you were my son I'd tell you to go play". He was also cleared by the Colts neurosurgeon Dr. Fowyer? I believe. I think it's safe to assume that Manning wouldn't be cleared if his arm was still in atrophy. Unless Peyton flat out lied when he said "I feel really good" "I am getting better every day". I'd say he's pretty close to being ready. At this point I would be shocked if Peyton wasn't at full strength at training camp. The fact that he will be rehabing all off season will probably mean he will be in better shape than most come training camp. Consdering all evidence leads me to believe Peyton has already played at some point in his career with nerve damage in his arm (most noteworthy the 2 previous off season surgerys) I don't understand why anyone would doubt Peyton's ability to play at a very high level. The fact that Peyton doesn't even want to wait until March 8 leads me to believe he feels that his heath is at a point where he believes the Colts have enough info to make a decision NOW. Why would Peyton want the Colts to make a decision before they had to if he was still struggling to get healthy? I know most Colts fans don't want to believe that Irsay would cut a healthy Peyton Manning, but it is starting to look like that is what is about to happen.
man i really wish more people would think things out like you did. I have these same thoughts. Maybe we're in denial, but i believe he's healthy enough to play and if he's released by the Colts, they are going to use his health as an exuse.
@GregMitchell1 He's not close to healthy enough to play. That's just not true. If he was, he'd still be a Colt.
His health isn't an excuse. Read the article again. They are saying it could be MAY before they know anything about his nerve regeneration.
@gregmitchell Great minds think alike. You must be one smart dude. I tell people all the time. People who think they know it all, really piss off those of us that actually do.
@GregMitchell1 trust me, no one wants Manning to be healed and ready more than me. Hell, I wish this was all a ruse to make everyone confused or whatever, but today's announcement is the definition of "nothing to report." They already announced that the fusion was complete in December.
I've had this conversation with "experts" in the field (but not doctors) that have told me, despite my protests, that increasing the rehab doesn't increase the rate with which the nerve is regenerating. The fusion being healed isn't going to speed up the process.
The surgery itself, back in september, was supposed to facilitate the nerve regeneration.
@Peyton for President He can be "feeling really good" and "getting better everyday", and still not be ready to play football at an NFL level.
I read all of the quotes from the doctors, and in all of them they continue to point to the fact that the nerves haven't regenerated.
Of course Peyton wants to try to convince them that he's healthy now, the longer the Colts have to wait, the more likely they are to cut him and draft Luck.
I'm on record (on this site) as saying I want a healthy Manning and I want to trade the Luck pick, but I don't think anything in that article points to something that makes me confident that that scenario CAN (let alone WILL) happen.
@greg c I honestly don't think Peyton wants to return to the Colts. I think he feels he has been slighted and Irsay has done a complete 180 from where he was last year. Peyton wants to win and I think he knows he would have a better chance with another team. Also his nerve hasn't FULLY regenerated. He is making progress and will continue to do so. Peyton sounded pretty optimistic to me and I'm not willing to call Peyton a liar like Nate is.
@Peyton for President@Greg I'll disagree with this. I think Peyton desperately wants to stay with the Colts -- as long as its under the terms of his current contract. If Irsay picks up the option, Manning will be virtually untouchable for three years. Any move to trade or cut him will result in some major damage to the salary cap. During those three years he'll be the highest-paid player in the league (tied with Brady and maybe Brees, after his new contract gets done). He'll get to finish his career in one place (an important part of his legacy, as he's stated), and he'll get to play in front of a crowd that loves him.
There isn't another team in the NFL that can or will offer Peyton the money, job security or clout that his current contract does. And while he might not like the rebuilding thats' going to occur, you know Peyton -- he's got enough confidence in himself to believe he could quarterback an SEC team to an AFC South title.
He wants that extension, and this little PR campaign he's running is designed to pressure Irsay into giving it to him. I don't think it will work, but he's going to try nonetheless.
@Peyton for President Read the whole story. It doesn't say he was cleared to play. It says he was cleared to play IF his nerves recovered.
They haven't. They aren't close to it.
This story revealed not one piece of new information.
"I don't understand why anyone would doubt Peyton's ability to play at a very high level."
Because people have seen him throw and it's not pretty.
"The fact that Peyton doesn't even want to wait until March 8 leads me to believe he feels that his heath is at a point where he believes the Colts have enough info to make a decision NOW"
No, if you read the report, they said early May before anyone might know. Peyton knows they won't know anything more in a month, so they might as well cut him now. He wants a new job and this is a PR campaign to get one.
"Why would Peyton want the Colts to make a decision before they had to if he was still struggling to get healthy?"
Because he's so far from healthy that a month will make zero difference in the decision.
"I know most Colts fans don't want to believe that Irsay would cut a healthy Peyton Manning, but it is starting to look like that is what is about to happen."
Nope. it's not even close to what is going to happen.
@Nate Dunlevy@Peyton for President It says to play "this sunday" .. dude.. he is making progress and he is throwing and making progress, the news about this is just Peyton camp telling Irsay to change the tune... "health, family and safety" card wont work anymore.. be straight with the man, he deserves it , tell him you are moving on and let him choose where to play next season cuz he will play.
@Peyton for President Yes, I think Peyton flat out lied.
@Nate Dunlevy Come on Nate. Last time we had this convo you said if Peyton was anywhere close he'd say so. Now he has and you're calling him a liar. You said all the info I had was from doctors in a vacuum. Now he's been cleared by the Colts doc and the doc that performed the surgery and you're telling me nothing has changed. I hate to sound like Keyshon Johnson but "Come on man".
@Peyton for President He's not cleared to practice now either. You aren't reading the story correctly. He can't do one thing now that he couldn't do a week ago.
This story had nothing NOTHING to do with his arm atrophy. It was about his neck stability and was meant to confirm what we already knew and what you said a week ago: he's not at further risk due to his neck.
This was not meant to be any statement on his arm. This was absolutely old information repackaged in a way intended to mislead.
He was cleared to resume football activities weeks ago. It doesn't mean play. It doesn't mean practice. It doesn't mean anything.
The statements are likely all about the neck. This in't the same as December, as you were right to point out earlier. In December the fusion was taking hold well enough that he was cleared to start lifting some weights, working out harder and to start throwing. Now the fusion is fully complete, indicating his neck is strong enough for him to resume full contact in a game without any additional risk of injury. Still really has nothing to do with progress on the nerve damage in his arm.
And don't mistake me -- I sincerely hope Peyton comes back from all this and plays again. I just think that he'll likely be doing it for another team. I don't think he'll be healthy by the March 8 deadline (if he was close, he'd have found a way to show it -- say a charity flag football game during Super Bowl week or something similar), nor do I think he'll renegotiate to a more cap-friendly contract. if that's the case, Irsay will cut him, and as much as it sucks, that'll be the right call.
I think there's a realistic shot that Manning will be healthy enough to play this year. But it'll likely be months before we know that. The Colts can't wait that long to find out. Some other team with a mediocre starter in place (say the Chiefs, 49ers, Jets, Seahawks) can and will.
@neven I understand your point, but if this was only about his neck he would have been medically cleared in Dec. Obviously things have changed. I guess we'll just have to wait until free agency begins so he can work out for other teams. I expect him to be ready.
Quoted directly from the ESPN article (emphasis mine):
"The sources said Watkins examined Manning recently in Los Angeles and concluded the stability IN HIS NECK would have allowed the quarterback to play this Sunday IF THE NERVES IN HIS ARM HAD REGENERATED to a satisfactory performance level."
Quoted directly from Paul Kuharsky's AFC South blog on ESPN (again, emphasis mine) :
"Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter report Manning’s been cleared by doctors to play, and that the question now is about when he can reach a level of performance he’s satisfied with. Much of that surrounds REGAINING AND REBUILDING ARM STRENGTH."
So yes, I would say two doctors did clear him based on the progress of his neck, and not his arm.
@Nate Dunlevy How is this the same as December? He wasn't even cleared to practice in Dec. So you are telling me that two doctors just cleared Manning to resume full football activities with a tricep muscle that is still in atrophy? That wouldn't happen. His nerve has obviously regenerated enough to gain enough strength in his tricep to not risk damage to his rotater cuff and shoulder by doing so. I understand he isn't 100%. He would have said so. But guess what, 90% of the league probably isn't 100% right now.
@Nate Dunlevy@Peyton for President I had to read the article THREE times to see if there was anything I was missing. There's some funny play going on......... not a single iota of new information and yet this is all anyone's talking about. Its genius!!
The unanswered questions still remain just that, unanswered. I think Indy fans are kind of resigned to losing 18 at this point.
@Peyton for President He isn't anywhere close. He's saying 'I feel good', and it's functionally lying.
You do understand that this 'clearing' is the same clearing that happened in December right? This isn't a new clearing. It's the same old clearing we already knew about.
I said it last week, the neck is irrelevant.
@Peyton for President Good points. Peyton wears his emotions right on his face. He's a passionate and honest person that wouldn't come out and lie in front of everyone, because that's just not in his nature. If he didn't feel close to normal I suspect he would've dodged the questioning by saying things like, "We're just taking it day by day."
Although this seems to be good news for Manning, I'm not sure it'll bode well for us Colts fans. There's still a reality that he could be playing elsewhere in 2012. :(