Colts: Manning "doubtful" for season opener


INDIANAPOLIS - The Colts said Monday that quarterback Peyton Manning is unlikely to play in the season opener against Houston next weekend.

The team released the following statement Monday morning:

"In response to a number of media inquiries, the Colts issue the following update on Peyton Manning's status.

During the last week, the rate of improvement in Peyton's rehabilitation process slowed. Over the weekend Peyton experienced soreness in his back. It was originally thought to be a normal reaction to his rehabilitation regimen. When the soreness persisted, the Colts medical team decided to initiate diagnostic tests and to consult with a number of specialists around the country who have been involved in Peyton's case from the outset. That process continues. As a result of the most recent development the doctors have decided that Peyton will not practice. His participation therefore, in Sunday's game versus Houston will likely be doubtful. We will update his playing status as required by NFL policy as the week goes on.

At the conclusion of the diagnostic process, if there are any new developments in the prognosis which we outlined for Peyton at the start of training camp we will report them. As of now Peyton continues to deal with a complicated neurological recovery, the end date of which is unpredictable.

As was stated at the outset, it serves no useful purpose to speculate about hypothetical outcomes. When and if there are concrete medical facts to report we will do so."

Eyewitness Sports Director Dave Calabro first reported Sunday that Manning was not likely to play in the opener.

Manning said last week that he's doing everything possible to get back on the field.

"I'm all about helping the team be a better football team. Our goal at this point is to start off with a season one win and I want to do whatever I can to make that happen. So my goal is to certainly be out there playing, but when I'm not doing my rehab or trying to get myself better, ready to play, I'm doing what I can to help Curtis (Painter) and to help Kerry (Collins)," Manning said.

Late Sunday night, Colts owner Jim Irsay responded to the reports swirling around Manning on his Twitter account.

"There is nothing2say on Peyton's status except we move cautiously n deliberately on projecting,beyond day2day,his healing process n recovery," Irsay wrote.