Peyton Manning Still on Active Roster, Could Play in December

At the start of the 2011 NFL season the Indianapolis Colts suffered a serious blow. Their star QB Peyton Manning would miss the entirety of the NFL season to recover from a neck injury. But Colts owner Jim Irsay said last night that the Colts are keeping Manning on the active roster, and there is a chance he’ll play this December.

Irsay tweeted:

“I didn’t say Peyton out 4 season FOR SURE, keeping him on ActiveRoster n taking it month by month/Outside chance of return n December possible.”

According to the Associated Press, Manning was seen at Indy practices last week and spent time in the coaches booth on Sunday.

Colts vice chairman Bill Polian said:

“The protocol hasn’t changed one iota. He’s still on the active roster and we have said time and time again that we will leave him on the active roster until the doctors tell us it’s impossible for him to come back this year.

“He’s exercising. He’s doing a lot more than he did a week ago. The bottom line is nothing has changed and he will have some examinations and tests down the line, quite a little while from now. It’s not imminent.”

Manning’s most recent surgery is his third neck surgery in 19 months. The Colts have been playing Kerry Collins while Manning recovers, but Collins was injured during the Pittsburgh Steelers game. Curtis Painter played the fourth quarter against the Steelers.

The Indianapolis Colts are 0-3 so far this season without Manning.

Peyton Manning started 227 consecutive games before his injury put him on the sidelines. But even with their biggest player off the field, the Colts are still happy to have Manning on their side.

Coach Jim Caldwell said:

“He’s a resource for us, and he’s a guy that’s been around this system for a long time. It’s what I identify as, ‘intellectual property,’ and I don’t think that you’re very smart if you don’t use it/ We use everything we possibly can to try to get ourselves in position to get a victory.”

How would you handle the Peyton Manning situation?