Manning planning to focus on rehab

Peyton Manning knows that for the Colts to get back to being themselves, he needs to play. After missing the entire season because of neck surgery, the Colts’ franchise quarterback acknowledged Sunday he has one goal.

Peyton Manning knows that for the Colts to get back to being themselves, he needs to play.

After missing the entire season because of neck surgery, the Colts’ franchise quarterback acknowledged Sunday he has one goal.

“I’ve got to get healthy for me, for the team. I’m under contract with the Colts. That’s my job is to get healthy for them,” he told reporters after Sunday’s season-ending 19-13 loss at Jacksonville.

“It’s been hard not being able to help on the field this year.”

Manning had neck surgery Sept. 8, the third and most invasive procedure he’d had in 19 months. Doctors fused two of Manning’s vertebrae together, hoping that would fix a damaged nerve that caused weakness in Manning’s throwing arm.

With Manning, many expected the Colts to be a Super Bowl contender again.

Without him, Indianapolis went through three different quarterbacks, lost its first 13 games and wound up with the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft — the first time they’ve had that selection since 1998 when they chose Manning over Ryan Leaf.

Now they head into an off-season unlike any other in the Manning era.

The Colts (2-14) finished with fewer than three wins for only the second time since moving to Indianapolis in 1984, and fans have been calling for the ouster of team vice chairman Bill Polian, general manager Chris Polian and coach Jim Caldwell.

Manning is content to let team owner Jim Irsay make those decisions so he can continue working out, and Irsay wasn’t dropping hints about his plans Sunday.

“We wanted to win the game but we didn’t,” Irsay said.

“It’s Sunday afternoon at 4:15. That’s where we stand and obviously we wanted to come in and get a win. (Maurice) Jones-Drew is a great player and you’ve got to give him credit, but we wanted to finish with three (wins) in a row.

“Beyond that I don’t have anything else to say right now on anything.”

The bigger questions involve Manning.

Indy’s franchise quarterback didn’t begin throwing to teammates until mid-December. Bill Polian, who watched the throwing session, and running back Joseph Addai, who caught some of the passes, both gave Manning good reviews.

Two doctors who have performed fusions on athletes but did not treat Manning recently told The Associated Press that if the fusion was firmly healed, Manning should return to his usually high level of play next season. Dr. Robert Watkins, Manning’s surgeon, issued a statement Dec. 1 saying the fusion had achieved “firm fixation.”

Irsay also must pay a US$28 million bonus to Manning in early March, risk losing him as a free agent or rework the $90-million, five-year deal the two sides signed in July.

If Manning is healthy, Irsay has said Manning will remain a Colt — regardless of the cost.

Where is Manning in the rehab process?

Bill Polian has said Manning will fail today’s exit physical, a move that would actually help the Colts because Manning could continue working out at the team facility.

Manning cautioned that nobody should read too much into the physical.

“I could pass it,” Manning said.

“I’m not sure how all that works. I think part of it is just paperwork. That’s all new to me. There’s a lot of things I’ve learned this year.

“All that’s been kind of new to me. Not rehabbing at the facility this off-season was certainly tough. You go to a place rehabbing and the lady next to you is getting her bunions worked on, asking if she should draft (Dallas) Clark on her fantasy team. Hard to rehab and deal with that.”

But all of those questions will go away if Manning can just get back to playing football.

“I’ve tried to be here. I’ve encouraged guys. I try to give an idea here and there, but the best way for me to help over the years is by playing,” Manning said.

“That’s what I want, to get back, to be able to play on the field.

“That’s where my priority is.”

Just Posted

Man and dog dead after early morning house fire in Lethbridge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — Officials say a man and a dog are dead… Continue reading

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

OTTAWA — The federal government is fighting a proposed class-action lawsuit against… Continue reading

May says Greens will work with any party that has a serious plan for the climate

OTTAWA — With three months until Canadians vote in the next federal… Continue reading

Joe Hittel rappels down 12 storey building in Red Deer – again

Eighty four year old Red Deerian was not afraid to rappel down… Continue reading

Indigenous nation in Washington State seeks meeting with feds on Trans Mountain

VANCOUVER — The Lummi Nation in northwest Washington state is requesting a… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: 5 casual summer dress styles

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

‘Us and them’: influence of Quebec anglos on decline with new Coalition government

MONTREAL — Last March, Quebec Premier Francois Legault made a mocking remark… Continue reading

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

VANCOUVER — Japanese Canadians across the country are meeting to discuss how… Continue reading

Off Canada’s East Coast, a hunt to detect ‘beautiful’ great white sharks

HALIFAX — The great white sharks move torpedo-like through East Coast waters,… Continue reading

ESPN reasserts political talk policy after attack on Trump

NEW YORK — ESPN is reminding employees of the network’s policy to… Continue reading

Tentative agreement averts strike by Quebec provincial park employees

MONTREAL — A full-blown strike by employees at Quebec provincial parks that… Continue reading

Air Force will end search for missing Quebec businessman and his son

MONTREAL — The Royal Canadian Air Force said Saturday it will gradually… Continue reading

Panel orders federal judge to reconsider Trump appeal

WASHINGTON — An appeals court on Friday ordered a federal judge to… Continue reading

What consumers can do as regulators weigh compounds’ risks

WASHINGTON — The government is trying to sort out how to handle… Continue reading

Most Read