Indianapolis Colts  

 

Colts' Manning upbeat about health, waits to talk to Irsay

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning said Tuesday he has no plans to retire and that his recovery from neck surgery is on schedule.

Manning told a group of reporters Tuesday he doesn't plan to stop playing and that his recovery from a third neck surgery continues to be on schedule.

"My plan hasn't changed," Manning said at a hotel after Media Day at Lucas Oil Stadium. "I'm on track with what the doctors have told me to do, and I'm doing that. I'm rehabbing hard."

When asked about reports he may soon retire, he said that talk is premature: "I have no plans on doing that."

There has been rampant speculation about his recovery, the potential risks of a return, whether the Colts will pay Manning a $28 million roster bonus in early March to prevent him from becoming a free agent or whether the soon-to-be 36-year-old might quit playing.

Manning did say during a taped interview with ESPN Tuesday that he likely will meet with Colts owner Jim Irsay soon to discuss his future with the team. But Manning said it was too soon to tell how his predicament would be resolved.

“That’s hard for me to answer," Manning told ESPN. "We will (talk) at the appropriate time, and some decisions will be made after that. ... It will happen soon."

It's been a tumultuous month for the Colts, and Manning's future continues to cast a shadow over this week's Super Bowl, the first in Indianapolis. The shadow of Manning's unknown future doesn't show signs of going away anytime soon, though he wishes he wasn't such a distraction.

“I can’t explain it," Manning told ESPN. "It’s not the way it should be. I really don’t think it will be as the week goes on.

"If other people want to talk about things, that’s their prerogative.”

Most of the Patriots and Giants said they're not paying attention to speculation that Manning's career could be over, but it's a difficult topic to avoid.

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Giants quarterback Eli Manning said Tuesday he hoped to see his brother make a comeback as a member of the Colts.

Cooper Manning, Peyton's other brother, told NFL Network's Albert Breer that Manning was determined to return to play next season. Peyton Manning sounded encouraged about his recovery progress during the ESPN interview and said that everything doctors have told him about the process has been on point, suggesting he's on schedule. 

That update from Manning came despite a Yahoo! Sports report that said the nerves in his arm are not healing in a way that would indicate he can come back to action.

After last week's public spat between the Colts quarterback and team owner Jim Irsay, the two issued a joint statement in hopes of tamping down publicity leading up to the Super Bowl. Irsay has vowed that he won't discuss Manning this week to keep the focus on the Super Bowl.

NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported last Saturday that the Colts decided weeks ago to move on without Manning.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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