"As of now Peyton [Manning] continues to deal with a complicated neurological recovery, the end date of which is unpredictable," the Indianapolis Colts said in the statement.
With that one statement, the entire season of the Colts has been thrown in the meat grinder and fans are screaming incoherently into the air because like it or not, Indy long ago hitched all its horses to Peyton. He is the Colts. He makes them a SuperBowl contender. Without him, well, let's just say it isn't going to be pretty.
To be honest, even as a non-Colts fan, it's very hard to wrap my head around someone other that Manning starting in week 1 against Houston. This guy has been the ultimate warrior and competitor for the Colts and it's been so rare to see anything slow this guy down outside of the postseason. Without him, you honestly have to wonder if the Colts are even close to a .500 team.
Guess that's what you get when the Faustian deal runs out.
OK, I'm just kidding, I don't KNOW that some 'deal with the devil' went down for the Colts to end up with Manning instead of Ryan Leaf but let's just say I wouldn't be shocked if there was. That's how good the Manning/Colts combo has been and that's why it's almost sad to see this happen to them.
And let's be honest here folks, P. Manning is 35 years old and with this semi-serious neck issue that extends to his back and arms, this could end up being the end of the road for this future Hall of Fame QB.
If that's the case, and I'm not wishing ill on anyone, then that dooms the Colts franchise for the next few years. That team is built for one man, Peyton, and without him, it reverts to a subpar squad that could almost be in the running for the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. On the plus side, however, this opens the door for Houston and Tennessee (maybe even Jacksonville) to step up and take control of the division.
I don't claim to be able to see the future, Manning could come out of this as good as ever, but if the writing is on the wall as clearly as I think it is, then this is a sad sendoff for a man that brought so much to the game.
Get Better Peyton, the NFL (and definitely the Colts) isn't done with you yet.