IBJNews

Manning out indefinitely after latest neck surgery

Associated Press
September 9, 2011
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indianapolis Colts thought they'd suffered a big blow when they ruled their four-time MVP quarterback out for the season opener. Now they may have lost Peyton Manning for the entire season.

Manning underwent more neck surgery Thursday, his third procedure in 19 months, and his return this season is uncertain.

Losing Manning for any stretch of time is something the Colts would love to avoid, and it's certain to throw the race for the AFC South wide open. Manning hasn't missed a game in 14 NFL seasons, with 227 consecutive starts, including the postseason.

"Rehabilitation from such surgery is typically an involved process," the team said in a statement, calling the procedure "uneventful."

The Colts said there would be "no estimation of a return date at this time. We will keep Peyton on the active roster until we have a clear picture of his recovery process."

Team owner Jim Irsay tweeted that the 35-year-old Manning would be out "awhile."

The Colts could have put Manning on injured reserve to open a roster spot, but it would have meant him not playing at all during a season that ends with a Super Bowl at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis.

Manning underwent an anterior fusion procedure to treat a nerve problem that still bothered him after his previous surgery, on May 23. Such a procedure usually involves making an incision in the front of the neck, removing soft disk tissue between the vertebrae and fusing the bones together with a graft. The goal is to ease pain or address a disk problem.

Recovery typically takes at least eight to 10 weeks, said Dr. Victor Khabie, co-chief of the Orthopedics and Spine Institute at Northern Westchester Hospital in New York. He did not treat Manning, but is familiar with the procedure and how athletes recover from it.

"It could be season-ending, seeing the piggybacking off of another surgery," Khabie said. "But the athletes I've known over the years, I never count out because they are such great competitors and such great healers."

If Manning recovered in 10 weeks, he could be back for a Nov. 13 game against Jacksonville, the week before the Colts have a bye.

Dr. Andrew Hecht, director of spine surgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, doesn't believe the injury will prematurely end Manning's career.

Hecht, who works with the New York Jets and New York Islanders, said the biggest risk is healing. He said it typically takes three months for the fusion to occur, though some people heal faster.

"The odds are that he'll end his career when he wants to end his career," Hecht said.

Manning, who signed a five-year, $90 million contract in July, also had neck surgery in February 2010. This, however, has been one of the most frustrating offseasons of his career.

The 4½-month lockout prevented him from working out with team trainers and he couldn't negotiate a new contract with the Colts during that time. He started training camp on the physically unable to perform list, which prevented him from working out with teammates until Aug. 29.

With Manning, the Colts have been a perennial Super Bowl contender. Without him, the most dominant team in the AFC South since its creation faces a daunting challenge: trying to become the first team to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium without having Manning behind center for possibly the entire season.

Since being taken with the No. 1 overall pick in 1998, Manning has led the Colts to 11 playoff appearances, 11 double-digit winning seasons, eight division crowns, two AFC titles and a Super Bowl championship.

The biggest question is when he will return.

"None of us know," coach Jim Caldwell. "It is a little bit in flux at this point."

Khabie said the fact that Manning has had neck surgery three times in such a short period is reason for concern.

If Manning does return this season, he will also be playing behind a revamped line that has three new starters and a fourth playing a new position. Longtime right tackle Ryan Diem has moved inside to guard.

The player who can empathize most with Manning is running back Joseph Addai, who injured a nerve in his left shoulder Oct. 17 against Washington, then missed the next eight games.

There were times, Addai recalled, he would wake up during the night with sudden pain. There were other times he couldn't hold a microphone or the ball would drop out of his hands with a slight bump.

Addai figured the ensuing bye week would give him enough time to heal, but it took more than two months to get back into a game and he still didn't feel 100 percent until this season.

"After a while it came back, but you don't really know when it's going to come back," Addai said. "It's frustrating."

Addai said Manning asked him about the experience, something the two discussed at length since players reported to camp July 31.

Addai said he's worried about playing the Texans without Manning.

"You know how important Peyton is," Addai said. "I think everybody has to step it up."

Kerry Collins will replace Manning in the lineup Sunday, making him the first Colts quarterback other than Manning to start a game since Jim Harbaugh — now the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers — on Dec. 21, 1997.

The only other time Manning has missed a regular-season snap because of injury was in 2001 against Miami. Backup Mark Rypien fumbled. The Dolphins recovered and drove 59 yards for the winning score. Manning returned on the next series with a bloody mouth. He was later diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his jaw.

Manning, who rarely misses a snap even at practice, has occasionally been sidelined during the preseason.

He sat out one week of training camp in 1998 before signing his rookie contract. A decade later, he missed all of training camp after having surgery twice to remove an infected bursa sac from his left knee. He also missed some practices after injuring his knee during a preseason game against Minnesota in 2001.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Care about the Season ticket holders and merchants?
    Not sure what you are suggesting Wilbur - Are you suggesting the Colts would withhold such information just to make sure the season ticket holders were all in? Are you suggesting that Peyton signed his new deal knowing he has a congenital defect which will force him from the game too? What truth are you searching for? You obviously think the truth is something that has not been told so far. Surely you can't be naive enough to think that if there is some horrible truth that has not been told, that it is going to be shared with merchants or season ticket holders...the owners have already shown you how little regard they have for those people (us)...they opted out of the CBA early feigning financial problems, putting everything on hold, then caved in like a cheap suit the second they were going to miss a penny of revenue...they are not going to tell the truth if it is something worse than what has been stated. It is the same as the lockout...the only people who are going to get shafted are the fans, vendors and merchants...get used to it. It is only a conspiracy if you allow yourself to be part of it.
    My take on it is there is no conspiracy...Manning would be out there if he could be (historically, that has been demonstrated), and the Colts would not have resigned him if they did not think he would ever play again. I think you have a bunch of unknowns (he's 35, it is a rough game, he has had surgeries before that he recovered from well enough, he believed the second neck procedure would work as well as the first), rather than some knowns that are being covered up. Sports are rife with hazard, especially football...the Colts have been incredibly lucky with regard to Manning especially given their approach to cobbling offensive lines together...to suggest that there is something sinister here when a guy has played 208 straight games prior is looking awfully hard for something that probably is not there. Not that the principles here would not keep that information from you if they thought it was in their own best interest...
  • How about the truth...
    Cooper had spinal stenosis a congenital defect which ended his D1 College career... Can the season ticket holders be told the truth as well as the many businesses which advertise and do business with the Colts.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Aaron is my fav!

  2. Let's see... $25M construction cost, they get $7.5M back from federal taxpayers, they're exempt from business property tax and use tax so that's about $2.5M PER YEAR they don't have to pay, permitting fees are cut in half for such projects, IPL will give them $4K under an incentive program, and under IPL's VFIT they'll be selling the power to IPL at 20 cents / kwh, nearly triple what a gas plant gets, about $6M / year for the 150-acre combined farms, and all of which is passed on to IPL customers. No jobs will be created either other than an handful of installers for a few weeks. Now here's the fun part...the panels (from CHINA) only cost about $5M on Alibaba, so where's the rest of the $25M going? Are they marking up the price to drive up the federal rebate? Indy Airport Solar Partners II LLC is owned by local firms Johnson-Melloh Solutions and Telemon Corp. They'll gross $6M / year in triple-rate power revenue, get another $12M next year from taxpayers for this new farm, on top of the $12M they got from taxpayers this year for the first farm, and have only laid out about $10-12M in materials plus installation labor for both farms combined, and $500K / year in annual land lease for both farms (est.). Over 15 years, that's over $70M net profit on a $12M investment, all from our wallets. What a boondoggle. It's time to wise up and give Thorium Energy your serious consideration. See http://energyfromthorium.com to learn more.

  3. Markus, I don't think a $2 Billion dollar surplus qualifies as saying we are out of money. Privatization does work. The government should only do what private industry can't or won't. What is proven is that any time the government tries to do something it costs more, comes in late and usually is lower quality.

  4. Some of the licenses that were added during Daniels' administration, such as requiring waiter/waitresses to be licensed to serve alcohol, are simply a way to generate revenue. At $35/server every 3 years, the state is generating millions of dollars on the backs of people who really need/want to work.

  5. I always giggle when I read comments from people complaining that a market is "too saturated" with one thing or another. What does that even mean? If someone is able to open and sustain a new business, whether you think there is room enough for them or not, more power to them. Personally, I love visiting as many of the new local breweries as possible. You do realize that most of these establishments include a dining component and therefore are pretty similar to restaurants, right? When was the last time I heard someone say "You know, I think we have too many locally owned restaurants"? Um, never...

ADVERTISEMENT