Irsay: Manning likely out for season


INDIANAPOLIS - Colts owner Jim Irsay told a group of Indianapolis business leaders that quarterback Peyton Manning may practice later this season, but is unlikely to play in any games.

Irsay made his comments at a breakfast gathering that included Super Bowl organizers, donors and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Manning is currently sidelined after undergoing his third neck surgery in less than two years.

"Peyton should be back. He had the neck fusion, it went well. The biggest thing is to get the regeneration back in the nerve in his throwing arm. We feel that it will. My anticipation is he can come back, probably 2012," Irsay said. "I don't see him coming back this year. It's possible he could practice in December. We'll see. I think he can come back and finish off a great career here."

Irsay later wrote on Twitter that he didn't rule Manning out for the year.

"I didn't say Peyton out 4season FOR SURE,keeping him on ActiveRoster n taking it month by month/Outside chance of return n December possible," he tweeted.

Team spokesman Avis Roper told the Associated Press Manning's status has not changed and the franchise quarterback has not been placed on season-ending injured reserve. The final regular-season game is Jan. 1.

Coach Jim Caldwell replied to questions about Irsay's comment at his weekly press conference.

"I can't talk about it, because the only thing I know is what was stated, with accuracy. What was stated, obviously, on [September] 8 when we released the last statement, I think that stands," Caldwell said. "Our owner clarified his position with his last tweet, so I think that's what everybody has to go by. We'll see how things go. He's still rehabbing and coming along, so we'll see what happens."

Manning sat in the coaches' booth for Sunday night's 23-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Colts' third loss in as many games to start the NFL season. It is the team's worst start since Manning's rookie year.

Irsay said if the Colts give the same effort next Monday night against Tampa Bay, good things will happen.