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I was one of the few (at least in my circle of friends) that never truly believed Payton would start the season. Not with Neck/Back pain. I know about those things... well the back part anyway. It's not fun to deal with and once it's there it is EXTREMELY hard to rid yourself of it. I was so hoping that Payton was one of the lucky ones that surgery was helpful - however now it looks like he's not since he just had surgery #3 on his neck.
Now I have a three-part question (Yes I know it all depends on how successful this late surgery was but you still should have an opinion...) 1) Do you think Payton will be able to play at all this season? (I find it doubtful) 2) Do you think this has finally ended his stellar career and he will now be forced to move on to coaching/G.M.ing/announcing or whatever his next career with NFL turns out to be? (I personally hope not but his health is the main thing and I think the man loves he game too much to totally walk away and not stay involved with the NFL at some level) 3) If he is forced to retire what to you think he will do? (Again, I think he loves the game to much to stay away - I have no doubt he may take a little time off but I think he'll come back in some form. I think he'd make a hell of an announcer or coach with his knowledge of the game).
1) The only way I see him playing this season as well as there be any significance of him playing is if the Colts are in playoff position after week 12. Even then the recovery process is lengthy enough, and who knows how effective he could be after returning from the severity. He is 35 and the risk factor would be working against him especially if he reaggravates it.
2) By no means would this injury end his illustrious career. He is in great shape, has not missed a beat and can easily play two or three more seasons. When his career does come to a close he will be a first ballot HOF'er and be amongst the career leaders in QB categories.
3) I think initially we will see him in the broadcast booth or perhaps be an assitant coach and stay close to the Indianapolis organization.
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