Peyton Mannning reportedly cleared to play

Just when it sounded like Peyton Manning was going to be forced into retirement because his neck injury wasn’t healing as hoped, we hear the exact opposite. Chris Mortensen reports that Manning has been cleared by two doctors to resume his playing career.

Mort says the doctor who performed Manning’s neck fusion surgery, and the Colts team neurosurgeon have both cleared Peyton to resume playing. Dr. Robert Watkins says Peyton’s neck is strong enough where he would have been able to play this Sunday. However, the bigger question is if Peyton’s arm is ready to resume playing. Yahoo! recently reported that Peyton’s arm strength was lacking.

According to ESPN, the Colts’ neurosurgeon recently told Manning, “If you were my own son, I’d tell (you) to go play.”

This matches what Peyton said earlier in the week, that he’ll be ready and cleared to play. The issue is now his arm. I thought Peyton’s arm strength was already diminishing last season, so it will probably be even worse after the surgery. But now the real fun stuff begins when teams get to explore trades for the four-time MVP.

Peyton Manning on His Future: I’ll Be Cleared and Ready to Play

Over the past week or so, we have heard every rumor possible regarding Peyton Manning. He and the Colts will work things out. The Colts are set to release him. The Dolphins and Redskins are very interested in Manning’s services. Wait, none of that matters because his rehab is not progressing and reliable sources say Peyton will retire. In an interview with ESPN on Tuesday, Manning assured everyone that he intends to play next season.

“Doctors and I have been in good, constant communication,” Manning said according to Pro Football Talk. “And I’m very encouraged by what they’ve said.  Everything’s right on point. I’ll be cleared and ready to play.”

Trey Wingo then asked Manning if he has considered retirement, to which he replied: “I have no plans on doing that.”

So there you have it.  Amidst all the rumors and rumblings, we hear straight from the horse’s mouth that Manning plans to play next season.  We already told you we believe he is done in Indianapolis, and there is no reason to go back on that given what has unfolded over the past few days.  If Peyton can regain his arm strength and he is telling the truth about what doctors have told him, we could be in for a feeding frenzy this offseason when the Colts inevitably send him packing.

Michael Irvin to Jim Irsay: Colts Franchise Was ‘Garbage’ Without Peyton Manning

The Peyton Manning situation in Indianapolis has gotten ugly over the past couple of weeks, and it will probably get worse before it gets better.  Manning is frustrated.  He does not seem to know what his standing is with the Colts. In addition to that, rumor has it he is struggling with his rehab.  When Manning expressed his displeasure with the way Jim Irsay and the Colts have conducted business since the season ended, Irsay responded by saying Manning should be careful about “painting the horseshoe in a negative light.”  Enter NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin, who said what many of us were thinking over the weekend.

“Whatever understanding we have of what Irsay called ‘the horseshoe’ is Peyton Manning,” Irvin said according to The Huddle. “The horseshoe is first? The horseshoe is nothing before Peyton got here. You could’ve taken that horseshoe, and you couldn’t have given it away. It wasn’t lucky, it was killing you. This horseshoe was garbage without Peyton — it was garbage when he got here and garbage when he left here this season.”

Irvin’s right.  This isn’t Randy Moss joining a Super Bowl-winning Patriots team that is giving him an opportunity to rescue his career.  Before the Colts drafted Manning, their last division title was in 1987.  With Manning calling the signals, they won eight division titles in 13 seasons. They went to two Super Bowls and won one of them.

If it is time for the Colts to move on from the Manning era, Irsay and company should watch what they say — not the other way around.  Indianapolis’ 2-14 record this year further proved how valuable Peyton has been to the franchise.  A Brett Favre-style exit is not in the best interest of the Colts franchise, especially if they want their fans to continue supporting them as they begin rebuilding.

Peyton Manning Reportedly Struggling to Get Healthy, Facing Retirement

People are so used to seeing Peyton Manning perform and perform well, it’s hard for them to grasp the idea that he may never be able to play quarterback again. But that’s the reality, because Peyton is recovering from neck surgery, not some minor procedure on his knee.

SI’s Peter King reported Sunday that Peyton Manning was struggling to get healthy. Also on Sunday, ESPN’s John Clayton told Amy Lawrence that Peyton Manning is likely headed for retirement. Gil Brandt of NFL.com says his gut tells him Peyton will retire. And anyone who is speculating where Peyton Manning will play next season is putting cart the cart before the horse, according to King.

So what’s the big takeaway here? Not only might Peyton be done in Indy, but Rob Lowe’s retirement prediction may turn out to be accurate. This may be shocking because it wasn’t long ago that Peyton was playing at an MVP level, but remember, neck injuries are major, not minor.

It Sounds Like Peyton Manning is Done in Indianapolis

With each passing day, the situation seems to become more uncomfortable.  At this point, we still don’t know if Peyton Manning will be healthy enough to play football in 2012.  Manning says he has been rehabbing his neck injury and working hard to get back on the field, but he has consistently stopped short of making any promises about playing next season.  What we can see, however, is that it is highly unlikely that he will be a Colt for much longer.

On Monday, Manning was critical of the way Jim Irsay and the Colts’ management have cleaned house within the organization, wondering if he would be the next person to be run out of town.  Irsay responded to those comments on Thursday.  Needless to say, he did not sound happy with his franchise quarterback.

“He’s a politician,” Irsay told the Indy Star. “When it comes to being competitive on a scale of one to 10, 10 being the highest, we’re both 11s. There have been plenty of eggshells scattered around this building by him (Manning) with his competitive desire to win.

“I don’t think it’s in the (best) interest to paint the Horseshoe in a negative light, I really don’t. … The horseshoe always comes first. One thing (Manning has) always known, and he’s been around it so long, you keep it in the family. If you’ve got a problem, talk to each other. It’s not about campaigning or anything like that.”

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Peyton Manning Not Planning to Retire, Critical of Colts Management

Peyton Manning is clearly very frustrated. Wouldn’t you be? In the span of a single year, he has gone from one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time to wondering what his future holds. If Manning can get his neck right and it is safe for him to play next season, he isn’t even guaranteed a job with a team he has kept relevant for the past 13 years. In an extensive interview with the Indianapolis Star on Monday night, Manning sounded like his patience with the Colts is wearing thin.  He said he never expected his retirement to be announced by “Sodapop Curtis,” among many other things.

“I’m not in a very good place for healing, let’s say that,” Manning said of the Colts’ facilities. “It’s not a real good environment down there right now, to say the least. Everybody’s walking around on eggshells. I don’t recognize our building right now. There’s such complete and total change.”

A 2-14 season can do that to a team.  The Colts have a new general manager, Ryan Grigson.  The management system has changed drastically in Indianapolis and Jim Caldwell has been fired.  While he said he understands that football is a business, it sounds like Peyton is less than thrilled with the way the Colts have been cleaning house.

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Peyton Manning Really Proud of Brother Eli

There will be at least one Manning playing a meaningful football game in Indianapolis this season. Unexpectedly, it will be Eli.

Colts quarterback Peyton Manning was in San Francisco to watch his brother’s Giants beat the 49ers to advance to the Super Bowl. The older brother had positive thoughts for his little bro.

“I’m really proud. He played great and the team played great,” Peyton said after the win. “I’m just proud of the way he competed. He took a lot of hits as a quarterback. I have a great appreciation for the way he competed, for the way he got up. As his brother, I’m awfully proud as well.”

Peyton somewhat shrugged off the suggestion that the accomplishment of beating the 49ers to face the Patriots was amazing.

“It’s what I expected him to do, I guess what he expected to do. I think it’s pretty neat as a rematch. It’s an awesome job by him, an awesome job as a team.”

Well those are all answers you would probably expect to hear. Now if the reporters had some real minerals, they’d ask Peyton what he thinks of everyone questioning if Eli is the better clutch performer. I think little bro may be.