The crazy mob scene you see in the picture above was Colts QB Peyton Manning talking to the media this afternoon, and he opened up about his injury, his rehabilitation, and talked about not talking about the 2012 Draft. Let's take these one at a time, thanks to Phil Richards and Phil B. Wilson from the Indy Star transcribing the entire session:
You can ramp up rehab, what does it mean?
"We’ll find out. I’ve been pretty good in following the doctor’s orders, following (Colts director of rehabilitation) Erin (Barill’s) plan. It allows for more activities. I look forward to kind of seeing what those are and trying to get back into a normal routine."
It doesn’t guarantee anything in this next phase, but it does allow you to step into that phase. The worst news we could have heard is, ‘Hey, you’re still not where you want to be and you’ve got to keep doing what you’re doing.’ He has given us clearance for the next phase and I’ll follow that as well as I can."
In other words, he's not telling us what he's up to, which is fine. I can imagine they don't want other teams knowing how he is rehabbing, so it makes sense he won't give any details. He also, rightfully so, makes it clear that this is just step one in the process, and getting back to playing form is still not guaranteed. Just to keep everyone grounded I suppose.
Any chance you practice before season ends?
"Like I’ve said all along, that would be what I would like to do. I think the plan would be for this next phase is to go out there and see what I can do now that I have a little more clearance.
At this point in the season, there's really no reason for the Colts to put Manning on Injured Reserve, especially if he can go out there and practice. Getting Manning some practice snaps, and seeing how he looks, is more important than winning a game, at least in the long run for the franchise. Plus at this point an injury to someone else could easily mean just placing that player on IR, as there's only 4 games remaining.
On the nerve, are you at a point where you could throw and play, with no further progression?
We have some things I haven’t been allowed to do in this past phase. Now that we can do a little more, throwing, if that’s what you’re asking, throwing will be a part of this next progression. That is somewhat critical to my job. I will be throwing and have been doing some throwing. We have to ramp that up a little bit and answer some more questions about where we are.
Sports Illustrated's Will Carroll was on local radio station AM1260 this afternoon, and he said this was the best possible news the Colts, and Colts fans could have hoped for. The fact that he's already done some throwing, even minimal as Manning later clarified, means there's been some muscle conditioning already, and can only get better. Now, Carroll was also quick to point out that this doesn't mean he'll be back at 100% of what he was before, and maybe not even 50%, but the fact that he's throwing makes him believe we could see Manning on a football field in 2012.
Cue the Happy Dance.
(Vice chairman) Bill (Polian) said on radio show he spoke with you and you’d be willing to (accept the team drafting a QB) ….
"First, I want to say any conversation that Bill and I have are alone between he and I. I will say he and I have not had a conversation about the 2012 draft. Bill keeps a lot of the players informed on different things, but I’ve never known who we were going to draft in years past. It’s been insinuated that he checks with me. I’m not in personnel. I don’t do personnel. I’ve had no conversation about the 2012 draft. I especially think that’s inappropriate to even think that. I don’t think I would have in the 2011 season even if I was playing."
He wasn’t being truthful?
"Maybe a couple years ago, he would say, ‘Eventually we’re going to draft your replacement.’"
But that conversation hasn’t been had?
"No. No. I don’t get into personnel. I don’t. I don’t know what was said on the radio show, but that’s not the kind of conversation that would happen between him and I. Whatever Bill has to do for the organization, that’s what he has to do. I just play football. I really am, have been, just the starting quarterback here for 13 years. I have no other goal besides that, doing my job and doing that.
"Whatever they have to do, (owner) Jim (Irsay), Bill, that’s what they have to do. I don’t really know what else to say besides that."
This has gotten a lot of play here on Stampede Blue, and I encourage you to have an educated opinion on this. I think Manning makes it perfectly clear that Polian never talks to him about personnel, and doesn't expect Polian to ask his opinion on personnel matters. I'm not sure he could have made that any clearer.
I really think there is a growing divide between the Polians and their franchise QB. My thoughts on this are enough to fill its own post, so I'll save it for another day. But I get the sense they won't be enjoying a shrimp cocktail at St. Elmo's any time soon together.
Again, please go read the entire transcript from the media session today (via the Indy Star), and thank Phil B. on Twitter for transcribing it all for us. Lots to digest, and there is plenty more I didn't get in here.