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Peyton Manning likely will never play football again, sources say

January 31, 2012 |  9:09 am

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning's football career is likely over, two sources close to the Indianapolis Colts quarterback with knowledge of his recovery from neck surgery told Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports.

Although the vertebrae in Manning's neck have healed as expected, which allowed him to start throwing again back in December, the same can't be said for the nerves in his arm, according to the sources. They say the velocity on his passes has not improved and possibly never will.

All of which, the sources say, indicates the four-time MVP will probably never play again.

Two league-affiliated doctors with experience in spinal fusion surgery told Cole that it would be too risky for Manning to play again and that it could take as long as a year for Manning to know whether a return is possible.

Manning could not be reached for a comment on the Yahoo! article, but he has indicated that he has every intention of resuming his NFL career.

Speculation about Manning's future with the Colts has been a main topic of conversation leading up to the Super Bowl, which is being held in Indianapolis and features Manning's younger brother, Eli, as one of the starting quarterbacks.

Manning is due a $28-million bonus in early March, but Colts owner Jim Irsay said Monday that he and the quarterback agreed that all the NFL discussion in Indianapolis this week should be about the Super Bowl.

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-- Chuck Schilken

Photo: Peyton Manning. Credit: Sam Riche / MCT

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