Peyton Manning doesn’t get enough credit for durability.
Now that he’s had a second neck surgery in 15 months, is he reaching the stage of his career when it might become more of a question?
ManningI’m going to guess no. Or if the answer might be "a little," it’ll be offset by two new offensive tackles drafted in the first two rounds (Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana), a second-year guard who could join the lineup (Jacques McClendon) and a second-year blocking tight end (Brody Eldridge) who may be able to help keep rushers at bay.
Better protection will be a luxury, as Manning is a master at avoiding taking shots by the defense. Despite a leaky line last year, he regularly got rid of the ball and took only 16 sacks. He very rarely takes a square shot.
Even in an NFL world where we routinely minimize operations, I’m guessing few things qualify as minor neck surgery. Manning told The Indianapolis Star it was a minimally invasive procedure that addressed a disc-related issue. Symptoms surfaced recently. And Manning said it's a different issue than the pinched nerve pain that prompted surgery on March 3, 2010.
Manning has started all 208 regular-season games of his career, 227 counting the playoffs.
Obviously surgeries like these in late summer, fall and early winter would be more of a concern than news like this is in the spring.
From Mike Chappell’s story:
Manning told The Star he anticipates “a quick recovery.’’
“There is plenty of time for recovery,’’ he said.
Manning added after last year’s procedure he “was working out within a week and lifting weights within two weeks.
“We’ll formulate a plan moving forward.’’
Tweeted Colts owner Jim Irsay: “Peyton's doing fine, he's on the mend from neck surgery yesterday in Chicago. Recovery time 8 weeks, he'll b ready 2 go for preseason.”
Presuming there is a preseason and that preseason starts on schedule.