For all the drama between Peyton Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay, and all the speculation about Manning’s future with the team, the central question is Manning’s health and his ability to play, and it appears that his rehab has hit a plateau, making the future that much more uncertain.
According to two sources with knowledge of Manning’s rehab, the pace of his rehab has slowed and although the surgery seems to have healed, he doesn’t appear to have gotten back the strength or the velocity on his passes to anywhere near the pre-surgery level.
Yahoo Sports reports that two league-affiliated doctors have indicated that it could take up to a year after the surgery before Manning can truly know if he is able to return and perform at the level he did prior to last season. Since the last surgery was in September, that’s well past the point where the Colts could wait and see with Manning. With a $28 million payment due in March and the draft in April, the Colts will likely need to make decisions under the assumption that Manning will not be ready.
The once-thinkable idea of Manning playing for another team besides the Colts looks more and more likely, but we may not know for another six months if and when Manning will be able to return. But with a football mind like Manning’s, it will be worth the wait and as soon as he can throw a football again, there will be no shortage of team’s that would be happy to land him.
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