“Peyton has undergone this surgery today by having a single level anterior fusion,” the Colts said in a statement released by the team. “The surgery was un-eventful.
“This procedure is performed regularly throughout the country on persons from all walks of life, including professional football players. Two former Colts players had this same procedure last winter and have fully resumed their careers. Rehabilitation from such surgery is typically an involved process. Therefore, there will be no estimation of a return date at this time. We will keep Peyton on the active roster until we have a clearer picture of his recovery process.
“Peyton will immediately begin the rehabilitation regimen mapped out by the surgeon. We anticipate no further updates or availabilities beyond those required by the NFL Media Policy for the immediate future. Thank you for your consideration.”
The surgery is the third Manning has had on his neck in 19 months. On May 23, he underwent a procedure to repair a bulging disk and nerve problem. He has not practiced or played since and recently had a setback, suffering triceps and arm weakness and back soreness.
Colts owner Jim Irsay earlier had hinted that a decision on Manning was imminent, tweeting: "NFL Season opens 2nite! We had a good practice yesterday and r guys r fired up 4 the season.#18's out for awhile,but compete,we will/BELIEVE."
The news was first reported by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, who spoke to Peyton’s father, Archie Manning, about his son’s mindset.
“I think he's okay, probably because there's a little finality to this deal in terms of playing,” Archie Manning told Mortensen. “He's been on the clock since May. He didn't make it. Obviously, it's a big letdown, but he can relax a little bit compared to the intensity of everything he has done trying to rehab.”
Cooper Manning, Peyton’s older brother, stopped playing football after suffering a neck injury and, although he did not speak to ESPN specifically about surgery today, indicated that cervical fusion seemingly was the next step. ”Everyone is different, but I've had a fusion and I've known players who have had fusions and went on to play football. ... You can get a pretty good range of motion back and much more stability once it heals,” Cooper Manning said. “You know Peyton and how he values his privacy even within a very tight family like we have. We've exchanged some short texts and I've given him his space. He's had a lot going on.”