Peyton Manning had surgery on neck four -- not three -- times
When Peyton Manning underwent neck fusion surgery back in September, the procedure was widely reported as the third time in two years that the Indianapolis Colts quarterback had underwent neck surgery.
But a report on SI.com, citing unnamed NFL sources, says Manning actually had neck surgery four times during that period. The additional procedure, which went unreported, is said to have taken place sometime between Manning's initial surgery to correct a bulging disk and the procedure in September.
The article also cites league sources who say that Manning has developed bone spurs just above where the September surgery took place and that the Colts believe it is very likely Manning will require further surgery, possibly even another fusion procedure, even if he does return to the field next season.
The only comment SI.com got from Manning's agent, Tom Condon, was: "I wouldn't have anything to say about all of that, one way or another.''
The article also describes Manning's efforts to convince team officials and coaches that he could return for the final two games of the season, specifically in red zone situations. He even took part in an organized and fully scripted 30-play practice session in front of then-team president Bill Polian and then-coach Jim Caldwell.
According to sources who attended the session, Manning threw nothing longer than 20-22 yards, and while his passes were accurate, they wobbled and had much less velocity than his usual throws. He is also said to have be visibly fatigued at times.
But team physician Hank Feuer ruled out clearing Manning for any on-field action soon after the workout, saying the quarterback's neck muscles were still atrophied from his long period of inactivity and he hadn't recovered his full range of motion.
-- Chuck Schilken
Photo: Peyton Manning in 2010. Credit: Darron Cummings / Associated Press