Wish TV is reporting that Jim Irsay has announced that Peyton Manning will be out for the remainder of the 2011-2012 season. This is what most Colts fans have expected for a while now, although many were holding out hope that he could return near the end of the season.
According to WISH-TV, Irsay conveyed the following to Super Bowl donors at a breakfast this morning:
Manning won't practice again until December and may not play again until 2012.
Now, obviously this leaves some wiggle room in case Manning can play, but Irsay is obviously trying to convey the fact that the most likely scenario is that Manning is done for the season. It is interesting that Manning still is yet to be placed on the injured reserve list.
[UPDATE] Matt Grecco reports that the Colts have a 12:30 press conference today, where they will presumably announce the move to IR.
[UPDATE] Jim Irsay tweeted that Manning will not go on IR, there is still an outside chance that Manning returns in December.
Nevertheless, the Colts can compete. The game last night was evidence that, while the Colts could possibly lose every game, they're not going to just lie down. This is going to be a season of disappointment to be sure, nobody likes to lose. However, it's also going to be a season of improvement. It's a season to evaluate the young guys, to get them experience, and to prepare for a Super Bowl run in 2012. With the defense looking improved, and the offensive line starting to get it together, Manning to come into a much better supporting cast next season.
It will also be an evaluation of the coaching staff. What can they do to make this season as competitive as possible? What adjustments can be made? We know what Peyton Manning is. He's a competitor, having a fierce love of the game unmatched by any other player.
We'll see what the rest of this team is made of throughout the next 13 games. If it's anything like we glimpsed last night, it's going to be something to be proud of.