Full disclosure, I am a New England Patriots fan and have never been good with the Colts winning as a result. However, I have a great deal of respect for Peyton Manning as a football player and I wish that he would return to play, but that is becoming more and more like wishful thinking, and not just for myself.
Manning made another of his unscheduled visits to the Colts locker room this week where he was of course interviewed by reporters. He said the same things he has been saying all along. That he hopes to be able to practice in December and possibly play a very late season game before this year is out. He said he is working every day in rehab. He said that he knows the Colts have a right to know what his health and outlook is. He said he wants to play if the doctors clear him.
But look a little deeper into things and you find that his recovery is going very, very slowly. That the nerve regeneration is going even slower. That everything about his ever playing again is right now all just speculation and wishful thinking. With the kind of injury he has, the multiple surgeries, the very, very slow recovery. To think he may never play again is not out of the realm of possibility.
The Colts are carrying the party line saying that Manning is their guy. Saying that there is a possibility they would extend his contract even if they are not 100% sure he could play. He got a 1 year deal with a possible 4 year extension attached. They say they hope he plays this year. They say that they have to consider what will happen after Peyton’s playing days are truly over. Looking what they hope is 2 maybe 3 years down the road.
Anything about Manning is speculation. Whether or not he will play, no one knows right now. Not Manning, not the Colts and not the doctors. It is a yet to be determined entity. In the meantime, football is a business. The main business is revenue, but to generate that revenue a team needs to win. Without Manning, the Colts have demonstrated they are incapable of doing so. The Colts have to look at a scenario in which Manning never returns. It has to be on the table with everything else at this point. And if it is, how then do they proceed?
If they continue their losing record, they will surely be at the top of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes in next year’s draft. Do they take Luck #1? If they do, do they expect him to sit for 2 possibly 3 years while Manning continues to play, if he does? If they have the #1 pick and don’t take Luck and bet the farm on Manning they are fools. I doubt they are that dumb.
This past week, Herm Edwards said that if he were the Colts he would trade Manning, if he turns out he is cleared to play, and draft Luck and play him immediately. To me, that seems a bit extreme, but not out of the realm of possibilities to be considered. The Colts however would never say that out loud. They have to for now stay with the party line, Manning will return to play in a Colts uniform. But eventually, that will reach a point of decision and given their current losing path, that decision seems to be one thing….Andrew Luck.
Anyone who thinks differently is only doing wishful thinking.