Irsay: 'Nothing to say' about Manning
The likelihood of Colts quarterback Peyton Manning starting the new NFL season continued to be in doubt Monday, despite talk cooling on unconfirmed reports that he may require a second round of neck surgery.
Colts owner Jim Irsay said on Twitter there was "nothing to say" regarding Manning ahead of Week 1, while ESPN reported the team would likely make an announcement later Monday.
Irsay tweeted, "There is nothing2say on Peyton's status except we move cautiously n deliberately on projecting, beyond day2day, his healing process n recovery."
His comments appeared to pour cold water on Sunday's report from an Indianapolis radio station, which said Manning required surgery that would sideline him indefinitely. The claim sent the Twitter world into a frenzy.
The tweet, from 1070-AM The Fan, read, "Been told by multi sources that QB P Manning needs a 2nd neck procedure. Will remain out indefinitely.Called #colts and waiting on response."
It spurred a strong response from Colts fans questioning its legitimacy, particularly after Colts president Bill Polian told Sports Illustrated, "I don't know anything about that. I honestly don't," when asked about the report.
ESPN, citing sources, later reported that the Colts had "no plans" for a new procedure, but that Manning was being "re-evaluated" by various doctors. The team was "still waiting for answers on slow progress" in Manning's recovery since his last surgery in May.
Manning was activated from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list Monday, having been sidelined the entire preseason, but Sunday's reports suggested it was unlikely he would be ready for Week 1 against the Houston Texans on September 11.
According to the NFL Network, the Colts remained in doubt as to when the four-time league MVP will be able to play again, while Sports Illustrated reported he may also be suffering from a back problem.
Manning's health has been a major concern for the Colts throughout the offseason and led to the signing of veteran quarterback Kerry Collins out of retirement last month, in case the 35-year-old missed the season opener.
Manning, who has started 227 consecutive games for the Colts, underwent two surgeries on his neck in a 15-month span. The procedure in May was meant to repair a nerve problem, while his previous surgery in March 2010 was performed to remove a buildup of calcium in his neck.