While Peyton Manning's playing status for 2011 remains uncertain after his third neck surgery in 19 months, his paychecks will keep coming.
Manning collected a $3 million roster bonus as of 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, as the Indianapolis Colts had not placed him on season-ending injured reserve.
Manning, who had a one-level cervical fusion Thursday, will collect $26 million in 2011, regardless of whether he returns.
The Colts can opt out of Manning's contract after this year. They have that option because Manning instructed agent Tom Condon to protect the team if he doesn't have the positive recovery doctors expect.
In an interview with CBS on Sunday, Colts vice chairman Bill Polian said that if Manning does return to play football, it would be with Indianapolis.
"Can't predict anything, particularly true with injuries," Polian continued to CBS, "in terms of Peyton Manning playing football, he's going to play for the Colts, that's for sure."
Polian said he wasn't sure when or if Manning would return.
"Honestly don't know. We will leave the roster open," Polian told CBS. "The doctors, and I underline that, will make that determination. ... We were going through the process here, we recognized early on his physical condition, but it's not career-threatening according to everyone we spoke to -- at his age, things like thin might happen and that was taken into consideration."
Manning didn't travel with his teammates to Houston on Saturday, two days after having the surgical procedure to address pain in his neck and upper back and weakness in his triceps. Without their leader and their star, the Colts were routed by the Texans 34-7.
When Peyton Manning's oldest brother Cooper was diagnosed with a congenital spinal condition that ended his football career in 1992, the boys' father, former NFL quarterback Archie Manning, had both Peyton and Eli Manning tested.
Neither of the quarterbacks had the condition -- spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal that is especially dangerous for football players.
Cooper Manning, a former high school All-State wide receiver who intended to play at Mississippi, had surgery in 1993 and never played football again. He also underwent a second surgery in which he had a fusion of his cervical vertebra to stabilize his spine.
While Eli Manning was cleared of having spinal stenosis when he was tested in 1993, his father conceded, "Eli has back problems, but a lot of quarterbacks and football players battle through those issues."
Eli Manning made his 104th consecutive start Sunday when the Giants played at division rival Washington. He now owns the longest starting streak for an active quarterback, inheriting the title from his older brother.
Chris Mortensen is ESPN's senior NFL analyst. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.