The Indianapolis Colts activated quarterback Peyton Manning from the physically unable to perform list, meaning he can begin practicing with the team.
The move is a largely procedural but necessary step as Manning moves toward playing again. It does not mean that his availability for the Colts’ Sept. 11 opener against Houston is any more certain at this point.
Manning, 35, has missed all of training camp after having surgery in May to correct a disk problem in his neck. His recovery was slowed because he was unable to have contact with Colts trainers and staff during the lockout.
“This was one of my goals all along, was to get back the week of this last preseason game,” Manning said. “This would give me two weeks of on-the-field work. It can answer some questions that Coach [Jim] Caldwell has and that I have. So you have to get out there around the guys to really know kind of where you are and how you feel.”
Manning has started 227 consecutive regular-season and playoff games — the longest active streak in the NFL and second to Brett Favre — and his uncertain status for the opener left the Colts in a state of flux. With Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky struggling, the team signed Kerry Collins last week.
When he met with reporters this morning, Manning made it clear, Phillip B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star reports, that he prefers for the decision on whether to play in the opener to be his.