Texans' Cody not surprised at Manning's devotion to return

Texans nose tackle Shaun Cody hates playing against Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. He's likely not alone with that sentiment.

So it's with some hesitation that Cody looks back on a Week 16 loss to the Colts and actually wishes Manning would have played. As awkward as that sounds, it's because the Dan Orlovsky-led Colts stunned the Texans 19-16 on a late touchdown.

"I wish (Manning) would have played," Cody admitted during a visit to NFL Network on Wednesday. "Maybe we would have had a little bit better chance. (Dan) Orlovsky beat us that game. Dan-O took it to us. So, if (Manning) would have played maybe we would have had a chance."

Right. But Cody did say it was the first thing he thought of when news broke Wednesday that Manning was reportedly pushing team officials to allow him to play in the home finale against the Texans.

Given the opportunity, Cody says he does empathize with Manning for the way his situation has become a "public car wreck." But he's also not surprised at the lengths to which Manning has gone in order to get back on the field, adding the maniacal, uber-competitive perception of Manning does holds up.

"The guy loves football, he wants to play football. I think he'd saw off his left arm so he could throw with his right," Cody said. "The guy is a warrior out there. I'm sure he'll do anything to try to play, and surgery is just one of those things he's trying to do."

It all points to the business of football, according to Cody. Sure, Manning wants to prove that he can come back from the injury. But there's also money involved.

"I think the fans want to believe it's more than that, that there's so much passion involved for their teams," Cody said. "But most of the time it breaks down that guys have a limited amount of time to make the money they can in this league.

"Fans have to understand that from their perspective, too, and how they would handle it if they were put in the situation. Obviously we love the teams we play for, and we play as hard as we can for them, but at some point it breaks down to being a business decision."

What's left for Manning to determine over the next few weeks is whether or not his decision to return to the Colts is based on business, or his legacy in Indianapolis.

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