Manning Has Third Surgery

Is this the end for the Colts this season?

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

The biggest news to come out of yesterday, outside of the Packers and Saints high scoring affair, is that Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning had an additional surgery on his neck to help repair a bulging disk. For those counting, this makes number three and like in baseball, three strikes and your out.

In this case, the out may stand for out for the rest of the season, as the rehab and healing process from this is a lengthy one. That being said, the out may also refer to the Colts in regards to the playoffs, though it is still possible Manning could return late and save the season as he was not placed on season-ending injured reserve and instead kept on the active roster.

"This procedure is performed regularly throughout the country on persons from all walks of life, including professional football players. Two former Colts players had this same procedure last winter and have fully resumed their careers," the team said in the statement.

"Rehabilitation from such surgery is typically an involved process. Therefore, there will be no estimation of a return date at this time."

As much as this will hurt the Colts in the short term, losing a Hall of Fame caliber QB will do that to you, it's the rest of Manning's career that some are whispering about. Could this be the end? Whenever you are dealing with a neck injury that requires multiple surgeries, you have to wonder if the recipient can return to 100% afterward. Peyton's brother Cooper Manning discussed this in an interview he gave ESPN.

"Everyone is different, but I've had a fusion and I've known players who have had fusions and went on to play football. … You can get a pretty good range of motion back and much more stability once it heals," said Cooper, the oldest of the Manning brood.

Cooper also said that he had no knowledge of the process involved in coming to the conclusion that another surgery was needed.

"You know Peyton and how he values his privacy even within a very tight family like we have," he said. "We've exchanged some short texts and I've given him his space. He's had a lot going on."

With Manning out, it's up to the recently retired Kerry Collins to hold down the fort and keep the team in contention. With a limited offseason made shorter by his late signing, Collins will find the early going this season difficult to say the least.

The Colts open up week 1 against their high flying division rivals, the Houston Texans.