The big news today is the Colts won, avoiding a 0-16 season.
The BIGGER news was that Bill Polian, in response to some reports from FOX Sports' Jay Glazer and the NFL Network, stated after the game that Peyton Manning will not return to play this season.
Earlier today, Glazer confirmed some reports that had been floating out there from last week: Peyton wore pads and a helmet at a post-practice workout on Wednesday. According to Ashely Adamson, a reporter from WISH-TV in Indianapolis, the practice consisted of 30 throws and about 7-8 handoffs.
This news prompted NFL Network to suggest that Peyton could play this Thursday night against the Texans. That speculation DID NOT sit well with Bill Polian. The Indianapolis Star's Phil Wilson reported that, during the Colts victory over the Titans, Polian was on the phone with NFL Network and he wasn't to cheery with them.
After the game, Polian addressed the media on the Manning situation. He confirmed that Manning's Wednesday workout did happen, and he also said No. 18 would not play again this year. He did not take questions after the announcement. Always classy, aren't you, Bill.
Will Carroll of Sports Illustrated is hearing different news though:
Getting info that Colts placing Manning on IR, out for season. More soon.
If Manning goes to I.R., he cannot practice for the rest of 2011.
Honestly, if you look at all this, the whole Manning practice thing is a communications screw-up of farce-like proportions, and just makes the Colts franchise look utterly incompetent.
[UPDATE]: Will sent me a message a few moments ago saying his IR tweet was incorrect:
Conflated "will not play" with "IR." My mistake.
Look, the Colts won today, and everyone is feeling good. But, come on. On a day where the team FINALLY does something good on the field, the front office, in particular Bill Polian, comes out looking like clueless asshats yet again. Dave Furst, Sports Director at Indianapolis TV station WRTV-6, summed it up best on Twitter:
Furst is right. Yeah, I'm sure a few braindead fans will screech that it's not anyone's business to know this stuff, but the reality is fans are indeed owed a respectful level of honesty. There is simply no need for the Colts is act like such assh*les, attempting to control what can and cannot be written about in the modern, digital age.
I'd love to know how that phone conversation between Polian and NFL Network went.
Polian: You can't write that!
NFL Network: Um, yes we can. Who is this?
Polian: This is BILL POLIAN!
NFL Network: Good for you. This is NFL Network, not some backwater, hick newspaper that you're used to bullying in Indiana. We'll print and say what we like. Go f*ck yourself.
In the end, all it does is distract from what should be the story of the day: THE COLTS WON! But, no. Bill Polian and the Colts front office strike again.
We'll follow up with Will on the Manning I.R. story, and post updates when we get them. Right now, I'm just shaking my head at how completely friggin dysfunctional and clueless this front office is.