The Peyton Manning saga continues as Sports Illustrated's Don Banks has new information regarding Manning and his surgically repaired neck. All the reports up until this point have cited Manning as having had three neck surgeries, with the latest one coming last September, only days before the start of the 2011 season.
Don Banks of SI.com reports that the number of neck surgeries in the last two years is actually four, not three. Banks reports Manning had another one — which went unreported until now — sometime between his second surgery last May and the most recent one in September.
As for Manning's future, Banks reports that the Colts team doctors believe Manning has "potentially developed bone spurs" near the area of where the surgery took place and that they feel it's "inevitable" that Manning will eventually require further surgery.
Manning, for his part, believed he could play late in the 2011 season. Banks reports that Manning and other Colts players conducted a 30-play scripted practice that was more fast-paced and intense than even former Colts executive Bill Polian was expecting. Manning didn't have the same velocity and was physically tired during the workout but he was accurate with his passes.
But after that practice session, Colts physician Hank Feuer would not clear Manning to play.
Feuer said Manning's neck muscles at that time were still atrophied from his long period of inactivity following the September surgery, and he had yet to recover his full range of motion in the area. It short-circuited any possibility Manning had of getting back on the field before the 2011 season ended, with him at one point hopeful he could show the team he was capable of running its red-zone offense against the Texans and possibly the following week at Jacksonville, league sources said.
Think about that last part -— Manning coming into the game exclusively in red zone situations. Although we'd be more hopeful of Manning's prospects of playing in 2012 if he had seen him play even a little last season, the medical risk involved outweighs anything else.
Despite all the new information, it seems that the result will be the same — the Colts will release Manning sometime before March 8 and, if he can play in 2012, it will be for another team.
Check out the entire report over at SI.com, which is about as extensive on Manning as any we've seen lately.