Simply put, if I owned a NFL team unless Peyton Manning signed a contract saying he gets $0 unless he starts at minimum of four games in 2012 I wouldn’t touch him with a 10 foot pole.
If you need any more convincing, just read this SI report.
SI.com has learned from NFL sources that Manning actually underwent a fourth, unreported, medical procedure in the past two years, not three as has been widely known.
While it cannot be determined exactly when the unreported procedure on Manning’s neck took place, it was at some point after his May 23 surgery in Chicago to correct a bulging disk, and before his Sept. 9 one-level cervical neck fusion surgery in Marina Del Rey, Calif. The same doctor who operated on Manning’s bulging disk in May did a follow-up procedure last summer in Chicago, as a result of the original surgery. Both of those operations came while the NFL and its players were still engaged in their protracted labor fight, with clubs having very limited medical contact with injured players. At the time of Manning’s September neck operation, that surgery was reported to be his third neck procedure in 19 months. In reality, it was his fourth.
In addition, league sources say Manning’s neck has potentially developed bone spurs just above the point where his latest fusion surgery took place in early September, and the Colts organization is under the belief that it is nearly inevitable Manning will at some point require further surgery, and possibly another fusion procedure, even if he does successfully return to the field in 2012. It’s unclear how any potential long-term neck issues will impact Manning’s decision to attempt a resumption of his NFL playing career later this year.
The report goes on to mention how Manning wanted to come back and play in Red Zone situations and a crazy practice where Manning went at full speed even though the doctors advised against it.
Manning’s obsession to get back on the field speaks to his dedication and drive, but honestly it appears he is getting worse not better. If he steps on the field his long term health will be at risk.
For the Colts it is a no brainer, they have to let him go, but I wonder if any team is willing to take a risk on him.