The gang over Stampede Blue dives into the explanation finally delivered by Colts Vice Chairman Bill Polian as to why injured quarterback Peyton Manning is on Indianapolis' active roster - in short, the organization wants to evaluate him as soon as they can, which would mean having Manning practice with the team.
Yes: We're talking about practice. There's no way in hell Manning suits up and mounts a comeback for the woeful Colts against Atlanta this Sunday. Rather it's a much more sobering indicator that Indy might dump Peyton in the offseason if the nerve damage to his shoulder and arm hasn't improved:
We just don't know. More importantly, the Colts don't seem to know either. In December, they very much want to know.
Next year, Peyton is due roughly $28 million dollars per the contract he signed in July. If the Colts intend to keep Peyton after 2011 and pay him that money, they need some kind of reasonable assurance that he can still play. They also need to know if he will be around because, like it or not, Peyton's opinion has significant weight with the Colts owner, Jim Irsay. Despite a horrible season, should Peyton not want Jim Caldwell fired, Irsay will listen to and possibly heed Peyton's wishes.
Manning will be 36 this time next year. Do you see him wanting to start over, at this stage of his career, with a new coach? Do you think Manning, who has a long history with Caldwell (his former QB coach), is going to throw his head coach under the bus