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COLTS NEED MANNING BACK
Fri, 04 Nov 2011 12:47 PM EDT

These are trying times for the Indianapolis Colts. Trying enough, in fact, that team vice chairman Bill Polian admitted it soon could be time the 0-8 Colts begin to look at what life would look like after Peyton. Polian admitted to Sirius XM radio on Thursday that the Colts would like to see Manning practice before the season ends, as his evaluation would play a crucial role in dictating how the team approaches Manning’s contract this offseason. Football scores

Manning’s contract includes a $28 million dollar option early next year that will determine his future with the team. If the Colts elect not the pick up the option, Manning would become a free agent. On Thursday, Manning made his second impromptu locker room appearance of the season, telling reporters that he is healing, Just not very fast.

“We’re still waiting for the fusion to take place, it’s still going slow and we still have some issues with the regeneration of the nerve,” he said. “I still have some restrictions.”

According to Manning, a December first doctor’s appointment would be the “next checkpoint” in his race towards recovery. Manning said he also understands the Colts’ desire to see him back on the field before the end of the year. “We’re in full discloser with each other,” Manning said. “If I’m not healthy in February, I think it’s fair for the Colts to make their decision.”

Manning had a spinal fusion procedure Sept. 8 to repair a damaged nerve that was causing weakness in his throwing arm. It was his third neck surgery in 19 months. Doctors who were not involved with Manning’s surgery said it was likely to take two or three months before Indy’s franchise quarterback could make it back onto the practice field, a timeline that is consistent with what Manning said Thursday. Hopefully there will not be any complications with his surgical procedures as any problems could bring his recovery process to an abrupt halt (which definitely wouldn’t help the team). Baseball scores

Last month, a jovial Manning showed up unexpectedly in the locker room and told reporters he had been cleared to stand on the sideline with his teammates and that he would be getting X-rays every four weeks. He was more serious Thursday, especially as the line of questioning turned to things like the possibility of the Colts drafting Stanfird quarterback Andrew Luck or another heir apparent, his contract and even the future of Coach Jim Caldwell. Manning apparently managed to answer a few questions and did his best to disengage from the debate.

“Those are all fair questions, but that’s not what I’m going to talk about right now,” Manning said. “I’m thinking about how I can get a little better. (The contract) is really a one-year deal with a four-year extension and that was my recommendation because I wasn’t healthy when I signed the contract.”


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