The Indianapolis Colts have ruled Peyton Manning out of their season opener Sunday against the Houston Texans, according to an ESPN report.
Kerry Collins will start in his place, meaning Manning’s consecutive games streak — tops among active starters — will end at 227 games (208 regular season, 19 playoffs). Manning, 35, has never missed a start in his NFL career, but has been slow to recover from surgery to correct a disk and nerve problem in his neck in May.
“To say I am disappointed in not being able to play is an understatement,” Manning said in a statement released by the team. “The best part about football is being out there on the field playing with my teammates. It will be tough not to be out there playing for the organization and our fans. I simply am not healthy enough to play, and I am doing everything I can to get my health back. The team will do fine without me, and I know for sure that I will miss them much more than they miss me.”
Manning had been listed as doubtful until today.
“It’s going to be a little different without Peyton. He’s one of a kind,” Coach Jim Caldwell said. “When you look across our league, most teams have had quarterbacks that have missed time. Ours has just been highly unusual.”
The team and Manning had held out hope that he could start, but faced facts today. “We always knew it was a chance,” he said. “That’s what doubtful means. You always have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”
Colts President Bill Polian announced the decision in an interview with ESPN New York 1050 and said he wasn’t sure when Manning would play. “I don't know, I honestly don't know,” he said. “The doctors tell you that these things have a way of speedily recovering when the nerve regenerates. But you have no way of knowing when it will. ... It will just come back when it does. ... There's no way to put a date on it.”
Now, the big picture. What does this mean for Manning’s future?