Peyton Manning’s 2011 Season is Over, Quite Possibly his Career Too!



We know this today, the Indianapolis Colts will probably not have Peyton Manning this season. You’ve heard two-three months as the timetable for his return. But given the extent of the injury, and the fact that no NFL quarterback has ever tried to come back after having done what Peyton will undergo, those two-three month estimates sound more like a way to give Indy hope, than an actual scenario.

It seems pretty clear his 2011 is done. You don’t need M.D. after your name to see that.

After traveling the entire country and consulting a half-dozen doctors, Peyton Manning elected to get a 3rd neck surgery on Thursday. This will be Peyton’s 3rd surgery on his neck since last season. The procedure is a one-level cervical neck fusion. It’s also referred to as a cervical spinal fusion.

Listen to this audio clip on 670 The Score Chicago “Boers and Bernstein” show.

The article it’s linked on it is quite interesting, but the interview of Sports Illustrated’s Will Carroll (a former interview guest of TSB and injury expert) paints a much more comprehensive picture of what’s going on here.

Bulls legend Scottie Pippen had a similar procedure and returned to the NBA. Football players Steve Slaton and Chris Hope returned to the NFL after undergoing a similar surgery. But when you’re a QB and you’re in danger of getting destroyed by angry 300 pound men on every snap (sometimes approaching from your blind side) you’re in a different category entirely.

After the procedure, and rehabilitation, Manning will be at much higher risk for severe spinal damage when he returns. And obviously spinal damage puts one at risk for paralysis. Given that his neck will have decreased mobility/flexibility, and what Manning stands to lose (use of his limbs), you have to wonder if he’ll come back? Look what’s at stake for him!

Factor in his new contract extension has $55 million guaranteed, the fact that he’s already won a Super Bowl, and four MVP awards, the closing window that is the Colts’ postseason chances and you have to question his overall motivation. Sure, he loves football, and his iron man streak shows just how tough and durable he is, but what’s the upside for putting yourself at risk of paralysis when you’re 35 (very old by NFL standards) and you have all the money, fame and accomplishment in the world?

Manning has nothing left to prove. He also has newborn twins, and I’m sure he’ll want his children to get to know their father at his fullest in life, not a broken down shell of the man he once was.

You know the phrase: “if you don’t have your health you don’t have anything,” and Peyton simply has too much to lose if he comes back and his neck get slammed/twisted. It’s also worth mentioning how many coaching/broadcasting/business windows will be opened for Manning once retirement commences. It’s not me or you applying for a job in football/private enterprise, it’s one of the greatest players in league history, who’s brother starts for the New York Giants, who’s Dad is a NFL legend and head of the National Football Foundation, looking for work once the game has left him.

Given all that’s in front of him, and all that he’s done, don’t be shocked if you never see Peyton Manning take a snap in the NFL again.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports 

He does regular weekly radio spots in Chicago and Cleveland and has appeared on live shows all across the world from Houston to New Zealand. You can follow him on Twitter



  1. As a huge Patriots and Tom Brady fan, the fact that Manning’s career could be over saddens me like I wouldn’t have thought possible.

    Every time late in the game when the Pats had a slim lead (or even a not-so-slim lead) when playing the Colts, I’d start feeling the pit of dread in my stomach when Peyton got his hands on the ball and started moving his team down the field. Strange to say, but I’ll miss that. It’s one of those things that make the sport so great to watch.

    I’m just glad that I’ve had many opportunities to watch one of the greatest all time QBs (probably #1, but up for debate).

  2. I am also saddened about the news….I’m from Boston and a diehard Pats fan and seeing Peyton’s career in jeopardy sucks. The Brady/Manning saga is like no other…and as much as i love when we beat up the Colts and Manning I can honestly say that I have the utmost respect for the guy. Class Act.

    Go Pats.

  3. Well said, Dude and Pats Fan.

    As a fellow Patriots fan, I had the exact same feelings yesterday, I’m glad to see someone verbalize them. It’s weird to see one of NE’s biggest rivls vanquished and not feel good about it. SImply- we want the Colts to lose, but not like this. Definitely not in this tragic way. We certainly have some mixed emotions about this

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