INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 22: Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts gives instructions to his teammates during the NFL against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 22, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Certainly didn't expect this news to come down this week. ESPN's Chris Mortensen dropped this bombshell on all of us a few minutes ago:
Now, I didn't think this would come down any time soon, but what does this mean? It doesn't mean that he's actually able to play again, but I guess it means he can go out there and try to not get plowed by defensive linemen. A couple reactions:
"@mortreport: Peyton Manning medically cleared to resume NFL career, per sources"~ Sources say.. Things just got interesting didn't they— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) February 2, 2012
So, Manning is cleared to be sacked by 320-pound lineman? Sorry if I'm a little hesitant to fully buy that report.— Derek Schultz (@Schultz1260) February 2, 2012
Peyton being cleared is not news. We knew this when Watkins cleared him in November. Just more media fodder.— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) February 2, 2012
Clearly Manning wants to play, and he's going to make it certain that he's ready to go for any team, whether it be the Colts or somebody else. This news doesn't change whether he's going to stay in Indianapolis or not, as I don't think anyone knows whether that is happening, and that includes Owner Jim Irsay. I have my suspicions, and feel pretty strongly about them, but I can't say 100% anything.
Let the craziness continue...
UPDATE: ESPN has an article up now, and here's a relevant paragraph, emphasis mine:
The sources said Watkins examined Manning recently in Los Angeles and concluded the stability in his neck would have allowed the quarterback to play this Sunday if the nerves in his arm had regenerated to a satisfactory performance level.
So basically his neck is fine (I thought we knew that already), and he could play if his nerves regenerate, which we also already knew. Certainly seems like we're not learning anything new here.