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Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Peyton Manning will not start Sunday at Houston.
In a statement Wednesday, the Indianapolis Colts quarterback said: "I simply am not healthy enough to play."
Manning, who has started every game for the Colts since 1998, was likely to be doubtful when the team updated his status Monday. His statement means he will officially be out, unavailable to play for the first time in his career.
"To say I am disappointed in not being able to play is an understatement," Manning said. "The best part about football is being out there on the field playing with my teammates. It will be tough not to be out there playing for the organization and our fans. I simply am not healthy enough to play, and I am doing everything I can to get my health back. The team will do fine without me, and I know for sure that I will miss them much more than they will miss me."
After seeing Colts owner Jim Irsay's tweet that his star quarterback Peyton Manning may be "out for awhile" a source on the team explained to me the organization is preparing for Manning to miss a large swath of the season, if not all of it.
Now, to be clear: that doesn't mean Manning will miss the season but the Colts' coaches have been told to prepare the players for life without their star.
What's becoming clear is that the Colts know far more than they're saying publicly. This is not a shock considering the extreme anti-media, anti-information release mindset of Bill Polian, the team's general manager. My guess is the upper levels of the team know exactly what's going on and have decided to release information at a trickle. It seems only Irsay and his Twitter machine are willing to share information. I'm guessing Polian would like to snatch Irsay's computer out of his hands.
The source indicated that Manning has not had an additional surgery. The problem is that Manning's neck continues to heal slowly. The nerve regeneration is proceeding at a far slower pace than expected.
So the Colts are simply being cautious. They want to protect Manning's health.
But the Colts source emphasized caution in saying Manning would be gone for the year. It's been explained to the staff that Manning's neck could suddenly start healing normally and he could play.
For now, however, the Colts are preparing for the immediate future without Manning.
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