Banks notes that the procedure took place at some point “after his May 23 surgery in Chicago to correct a bulging disk, and before his Sept. 9 one-level cervical neck fusion surgery in Marina Del Rey, Calif.” Manning reportedly developed bone spurs above where the fusion had taken place which prompted the surgery.
The Colts are concerned that it’s “inevitable” that Manning will require further work on his neck which could consist of another fusion surgery.
Banks adds that Manning was actually trying to convince the Colts to allow him to play in the teams final two games of the season but only in red-zone situations which had been previously proposed. League source mentioned that Manning was hoping to play in Week 16 and even took part it an “organized and fully-scripted 30-play practice session” before their Week 15 game against the Titans. The reason Manning never played in any of the team’s games was because team physician Hank Feuer wasn’t going to clear him to play.
Former Colts president Bill Polian was reportedly frustrated with the scripted practice and especially the pace at which Manning was being asked to play. The source mentioned that Manning was accurate during the session, despite throwing less than 20 yards passes, and managed to complete 80 percent of his passes.
“He wanted to go on the field and try to dump red-zone passes against Houston,” a league source said. “Even though his neck muscles hadn’t even been strengthened yet. Can you imagine anyone putting him on the field in that situation? Just to throw a string of red-zone passes? But that’s where things were going at that time, and it kind of speaks to the insanity of the situation.”
The take away here is that Manning can at least throw the ball in a limited fashion but the questions surrounding his neck injury will continue throughout the remainder of his NFL career. It will be interesting to see what the market will be like if and when he becomes available.