#HorseBytes: Peyton Manning Speculation


Is football really over? With all the media coverage and scrutiny continually surrounding Jim Irsay and Peyton Manning, you’d think we were in the middle of an AFC playoff race. Which reports are true, and which are false? No.18 himself may not even know the answer, but #HorseBytes will help you separate truth from fiction by giving you the stories straight from some of the Horses’ mouths.

See the tweets after the jump…

#ColtsNation received its first jolt of the week when Jim Irsay tweeted yet another announcement of  “NEWS.”

Had Irsay and Manning finally held their much-anticipated meeting? What was the verdict? Upon reading the tweet, I gripped my iPhone tightly and debated whether I really wanted to know the answer. My curiosity eventually got the best of me, and I read on until I saw these:

Really?! The Colts had already filled the major coaching positions — head coach, offensive coordinator, and defensive coordinator — so I didn’t see how the completion of the staff constituted as “NEWS.” I mean, maybe “news,” but definitely not “NEWS.”

But the Colts weren’t done.

So, now we know when to expect decision day. Possibly. Jim Irsay added fuel to the fire by revealing the following to several ESPN sources:

While this was more of the “NEWS” I was looking for, it still didn’t answer many questions. Of course Irsay would want Peyton back. The two are very close and have shared many successes together. Who wouldn’t want to have one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time under center for their team? But Manning comes with risks now, and Irsay doesn’t seem to want to pay $28 million for that uncertainty. NFL analysts John Clayton and  Chris Mortensen seemed to offer the best insight into the situation.

Despite the numerous reports about Manning signing with another team (There was even a “Wheel of Peyton” segment on NFL Total Access last week), both Mortensen and Clayton seem to think Manning would be best suited to remain in Indianapolis — encouraging news for Colts fans.

Less than 24 hours later, the bombshell was dropped.

Apparently, Manning’s reported third surgery – the one-level cervical anterior neck fusion — was actually the fourth procedure done on his neck. The “real” third procedure was done sometime between May and September and involved the removal of several bone spurs. Further complicating matters, the Colts revealed that there’s a good chance Manning will mostly likely need more surgeries in the future to remove additional bone spurs. The report even mentioned the possibility of another fusion.

The most interesting report of all came again from Mortensen on ESPN’s Mike and Mike radio show. Mortensen said that his sources tell him Manning is making “real progress.” The reports of the bone spurs are apparently “contrary” to what he’s been hearing.

What confused me about these reports was the fact that they indeed were reported. I thought Irsay wanted to keep these kinds of statements “in the family.” So, what’s to come next?

We’ll end the week on a positive note. Last year’s second-round draft pick Ben Ijalana had his first run-in with new head coach Chuck Pagano, and he’s impressed. This coincides with a similar report from first-round selection Anthony Castonzo last week. Perhaps we can expect good things from next year’s group – with or (hopefully not) without Manning. 

Looks like more “NEWS” is on the horizon next week, #ColtsNation, and you can bet #HorseBytes will have it all here for you. Don’t forget, you can always follow me @catierae08 for all the latest #Colts news and commentary. Happy Tweeting!