Peyton Manning
After rejecting the Dolphins, the race for Manning's services may be coming to an end pretty soon. Reuters

Injured Colts quarterback Peyton Manning is likely out for the season, according to one doctor.

Anders Cohen, chief of neurosurgery at the Brooklyn Hospital Center, thinks it is highly unlikely that Manning, who recently underwent his third neck procedure in 19 months, will play a game this season. Cohen isn't treating Manning for the injury.

Surgeons initially tried a less invasive approach, but the single level anterior fusion he just underwent is a more definitive procedure that will correct the problem but requires a longer healing process. Cohen said in a statement.

It's highly unlikely that he will play this year since this procedure requires at least a three month recovery and he would then need to get back into shape.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen first reported Manning underwent surgery on Thursday. He will need at least two to three months to recover, maybe longer, due to the nature of the injury and the subsequent surgery.

Rick Delamarter, medical director of the spine program at Cedars Sinai told the Los Angeles Times that football players need their necks to be fully healed and that even three months could be rushing it.

Delamarter, who has performed neck operations on many NFL players and other professional athletes, agrees with Cohen that Manning could be out the entire season. I wouldn't be at all surprised if they decide to keep him out for the year, he said, adding, he'd be surprised if this was a career-ending situation for Manning.

Manning had started 227 consecutive games for the Colts before the team ruled him out for its Sept. 11 opener against the Houston Texans. The decision immediately caused speculation that Manning's injury was worse than initially believed and that it was possible he'd be out for the season.

Two Indianapolis area journalists reported it was likely that Manning would need another surgery and could be out for the season. That was followed up by Colts owner Jim Irsay reporting on Twitter that Manning would be out for awhile.

Manning has led the Colts to one Super Bowl victory and 11 playoff appearances -- becoming one of the most popular players in the NFL.

Peyton isn't just a great football player, he's a great man, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters. He's done all the right things on and off the field.