Peyton Manning "Doubtful" for Colts Opener

September 5, 2011

The Indianapolis Colts' season and championship hopes have taken a turn for the worse, as Peyton Manning's recovery from neck surgery is progressing slower than expected. Even more troubling is that there has been no date set for his return.

This morning, the Colts issued the following statement on Manning's status:

During the last week, the rate of improvement in Peyton’s rehabilitation process slowed. Over the weekend Peyton experienced soreness in his back. It was originally thought to be a normal reaction to his rehabilitation regimen. When the soreness persisted, the Colts medical team decided to initiate diagnostic tests and to consult with a number of specialists around the country who have been involved in Peyton’s case from the outset. That process continues. As a result of the most recent development the doctors have decided that Peyton will not practice. His participation therefore, in Sunday’s game versus Houston will likely be doubtful. We will update his playing status as required by NFL policy as the week goes on.
At the conclusion of the diagnostic process, if there are any new developments in the prognosis which we outlined for Peyton at the start of training camp we will report them. As of now Peyton continues to deal with a complicated neurological recovery, the end date of which is unpredictable.

As was stated at the outset, it serves no useful purpose to speculate about hypothetical outcomes. When and if there are concrete medical facts to report we will do so.

Arguably no player is as valuable to his team as Manning, who truly is the engine behind the Colts offense.  Veteran QB Kerry Collins was brought in mid-camp as a Plan B, but he is learning the offense on the fly and will need time to develop chemistry with his receivers.

Expect Indy to struggle until Manning returns to full health, as four of the Colts' first five opponents will be playoff-caliber teams in Houston, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, and Kansas City.

By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald

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