More and more news reports on Thursday indicate that Indianapolis Colts star quarterback Peyton Manning's season may be in danger.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that Peyton Manning underwent a third neck procedure on Thursday -- an one-level cervical neck fusion -- and will take at least two to three months to recover. Mortensen said it was unclear whether Manning would miss the entire season.
Mortensen was able to reach Peyton's older brother Cooper, who thought a neck fusion was a good idea but wouldn't confirm that Peyton had the procedure.
Everyone is different, but I've had a fusion and I've known players who have had fusions and went on to play football, Cooper told ESPN. You can get a pretty good range of motion back and much more stability once it heals.
Earlier on Thursday, Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted that Manning would be out for awhile, but that the team would be okay. This comes a day after Irsay refuted a report by an Indianapolis area radio show host that Manning had surgery on either Sunday or Monday.
The radio show host, Jake Query, reported on Twitter that Manning would be out for the season, according to one of his reputable sources. There was never a confirmation by Manning or other mainstream media members, but conversely there was no denial either.
Nate Dunlevy of Colts blog 18to88.com reported on Wednesday that another surgery was likely -- just as Glazer reports -- and that because it is a neck issue there is at least a chance this could be a career ending injury.
Manning hasn't been put on the Physically Unable to Perform list so he's eligible to play at any point, but the likelihood of the 14-year veteran playing anytime soon looks to be getting smaller.
On Wednesday, Colts team management announced that Manning was ruled out to play in the team's home opener against the Houston Texans on Sept. 11.
Manning, who hasn't missed a start in 227 consecutive games, was understandably upset about missing the team's highly anticipated opener.
To say I am disappointed in not being able to play is an understatement, Manning said in a statement. The best part about football is being out there on the field with my teammates.
It will be tough not to be out there playing for the organization and our fans. I simply am not healthy enough to play, and I am doing everything I can to get my health back.
The team entered the preseason with high expectations to win the AFC South division, but could struggle if Manning is indeed out for the year. While Manning believes the team will do fine without me, it is doubtful Collins -- a fine veteran in his own right -- can have quite the impact Manning has had on the offense during his illustrious career.