If a recorded workout at Duke University is an indication of Peyton Manning’s current arm strength, the All-Pro passer might finally be on the road to recovery.
The workout, posted on You Tube, is legitimate according to ESPN, and shows Manning in his Colts helmet with Brandon Stokley, Dallas Clark and Austin Collie as his receivers. Manning also wore shoulder pads and a jersey at Duke and his consistent arm strength on several passes likely signals positive progress in Manning’s recovery from four neck procedures.
Manning sat out all of the 2011 season and his future with the Colts could be decided this week. The team and Manning face a March 8 deadline, at which point the Colts must decide whether to pay a $28 million bonus that triggers the final four years of a five-year, $90 million deal.
Owner Jim Irsay said the date could be moved, and the amount of the payment decreased, if both sides can agree. If not, it’s likely Manning’s career will continue elsewhere.
No shortage of suitors would be expected, as the Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals and Washington Redskins all have the need for an upgrade at quarterback.
Manning’s last neck surgery was a spinal fusion operation and he has not passed a team physical or been fully cleared by the Colts since that Sept. 8 procedure.
The Colts have the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2012 and are expected to select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.