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Peyton Manning declared out for season, but more questions remain

Manning_640
No, Peyton Manning will not play a game this season. He won't even practice again. But, yes, the Indianapolis Colts actually are capable of winning without him.

Those are some questions the Colts finally have answered. It took only 14 tries, 50 calendar weeks and three starting quarterbacks, but the team won Sunday for the first time in 14 years with someone other than Manning calling the signals. The Colts beat the Tennessee Titans, 27-13, giving seven-year veteran Dan Orlovsky his first career victory in nine starts.

With that hurdle cleared, team vice chairman Bill Polian addressed the speculation concerning the return of the injured Manning, who suited up and threw some passes at practice last week for the first time all season.

Polian said it has been "determined by the doctors that there was no chance that (Manning) would play this year. His rehabilitation has not come far enough to make it prudent for him to step on the field in game action."

On Tuesday, Coach Jim Caldwell said that although Manning is getting better and will continue throwing the ball as part of his rehabilitation work, he will not practice with the team for the remainder of the season. Caldwell said the intention is to avoid taking away repetitions from quarterbacks Orlovsky and Curtis Painter.

Of course, now there's plenty more questions surrounding the Colts and Manning. Are their chances of getting the top draft pick and presumably Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck suddenly in jeopardy? Is drafting a potential elite quarterback a good idea? What if Manning comes back next year at full strength? What if he doesn't?

Hopefully Colts fans won't have to wait quite as long to get those answers.

ALSO:

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Firsts for Packers and Colts, and a second (loss) for Tim Tebow

-- Chuck Schilken

Photo: Peyton Manning. Credit: Sam Riche / MCT

 
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