Peyton Manning addresses health, future in interview

Jan 31, 2012, 9:55 PM | Updated: 10:00 pm

Peyton Manning expects to play football next season.

The Indianapolis Colts QB (for now) is still recovering
from multiple neck surgeries, and with an assumption that
his days in blue and white are coming to an end, there is
excitement in QB-needy cities that their team could be the
next home for one of the NFL’s greatest passers.

Recent reports that Manning’s recovery is not going as
planned and the QB may be forced to retire have dampened
the excitement, though, because the entire thought process
becomes moot if he can’t play.

In an interview on ESPN Tuesday, Manning
addressed a cornucopia of issues, ranging from his health,
his relationship with Colts owner Jim Irsay and the chance
of him playing somewhere other than Indianapolis.

On his health, Manning said things are looking good.

“The doctors and I have been in good, constant
communication,” he said. “And I’ve been very encouraged by
what they’ve said.

“Everything they’re saying though is everything is right
on point, everything looks good, that I’ll be cleared and
ready to go.”

So, assuming he recovers well enough to play next season,
Manning understands it’s possible the next uniform he puts
on will not be the one he’s worn the last 14 seasons.
Nothing will have to happen until at least March 8th, when
Manning is due a large roster bonus, and the veteran was
in no mood to discuss his situation during a week in which
his hometown is hosting the Super Bowl.

“If tough decisions have to be made, they’ll be made at
the appropriate time,” Manning said. “I know people can
talk about it – that’s fair, that’s part of the game –
doesn’t mean that I have to add to that conversation and I
just don’t plan to.”

That discussion will happen at some point, though, Manning
was not really forthcoming with information about how much
longer he expects to play or would even like to play, only
saying he’s grateful for the time he’s played so far.

“How much longer, we’ll see,” he said.

So, even though he said things are looking good for a
return to football, was that Manning’s way of following
the five d’s of
You know, dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge?
Could it be that his recovery is really not going as
planned, he just doesn’t want to admit it during Super
Bowl week?

Perhaps, but nobody can be sure. The only thing we do know
is there will be no news on Manning – good or bad – until
the Patriots and Giants square off at Lucas Oil Stadium

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