Last night on his weekly call-in radio show, Colts vice chairman Bill Polian was asked a question by a fan about Peyton Manning and why, despite his neck ailments, he was still on the active roster. Polian answered by saying that the Colts want to keep Peyton on the active roster so that, perhaps, towards the end of the regular season, Peyton can start practicing again. Polian then went on to say that end-of-the-season practice was the team's goal for Peyton, not necessarily to have him play in games.
Polian said the fear of playing Peyton in games mostly revolves around the current state of the Colts offensive line. Apparently, the Colts don't want to just throw Peyton out there and have him play behind a patchwork of nobodys blocking in front of him. The team has lost three starters along the line already this season, and has been shuffling linemen around week-to-week. First round pick Anthony Castonzo has been nursing a foot injury since early October, and second round pick Ben Ijalana is out for the year with a knee injury. Starting guard Joe Reitz has a knee injury as well, and is likely done for 2011.
Polian also stated that the Colts almost placed Manning on Injured Reserve last week because of injuries to the o-line, in particular Seth Olsen. However, Colts coach Jim Caldwell and team general manager Chris Polian were able to work out the roster in such a way as to allow Manning to stay active.
Should the Colts be forced to place Manning on I.R., he would not be able to practice with the team in 2011.
Later today, Stampede Blue will post the rest of the highlights from last night's 'The Bill Polian Show.'
[UPDATE]: Well, it seems Jim Irsay's Twitter account might not be down with the company talking points regarding Peyton. This is from this morning, and I'm not sure what to make of it: