As optimistic as Manning was Tuesday about his own recovery, Vinatieri offered nothing to suggest anything different. Vinatieri told WAXY 790-AM it looked like Manning was on track.
"I haven't watched him the last few weeks, but I did see him at the end of the season," Vinatieri said during the interview. "He was developing nicely. Was he quite all the way back yet? No, probably not. Not to his standards.
"But he definitely is not that far off."
There has been rampant speculation that Manning will be forced to retire, including a Yahoo! Sports report that said the nerves in his arm are not healing in a way that would indicate he can return to action.
Manning didn't specifically address his condition during two separate interviews on Tuesday, but for the first time in weeks was transparent about his intentions, which don't include retirement.
My plan hasn't changed," Manning told reporters. "I'm on track with what the doctors have told me to do, and I'm doing that. I'm rehabbing hard."