Peyton Manning watches from the sideline Sunday night. (AJ Mast / AP)

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and the team backed off his comments Monday about the status of quarterback Peyton Manning, saying that he has an “outside chance” of playing in December and that the team is taking it “month by month.”

Irsay later added via Twitter:

“I didn't say Peyton out 4season FOR SURE,keeping him on ActiveRoster n taking it month by month/Outside chance of return n December possible.”

The Colts released a statement saying that there has been “no change in Peyton Manning's status since our last statement on Sept. 8.”

Filed at 10:03 a.m.

Quarterback Peyton Manning may miss the rest of the season, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay announced at a breakfast for Super Bowl XLVI corporate donors Monday in Indianapolis.

Manning, WISH-TV and the Indianapolis Star reported, most likely won’t return until next season.

Manning is rehabbing from what the team said was “single-level anterior fusion” of vertebrae in his neck Sept. 8, his third neck procedure in 19 months. Manning, whose most-recent previous surgery was in May, experienced arm weakness and opted to have surgery.

Manning was on the sideline and in the coaches’ booth Sunday night as the Colts dropped to 0-3 with a 23-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Indianapolis. Kerry Collins, who came out of retirement when Manning underwent surgery, went out with a concussion, giving way to Curtis Painter. Together, they completed 8-of-40 passes for 153 yards.

“I do hope to get healthy, and when I'm healthy and cleared to play, I want to be out there,” Manning said last week. “But I'm off the clock as far as that goes. I'm just trying to follow the doctors' orders and get healthy. ... This is new to me. I try to have a good perspective, I really do.”