INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Colts four-time MVP and 11-time Pro Bowl quarterback Peyton Manning has passed the club's physical and has been activated off the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Manning had been on the PUP list prior to today while rehabilitating from off-season neck surgery.
The move for Manning is a continuation of the recuperative process he has undergone under the club's care since the end of the lockout. The news was released in a statement by the team Monday morning.
"It will be nice to get back out there on the practice field and do a few more things than I've been able to do," said Manning later in the day at his locker. "There's not much to add…I'm not going to get into the day-by-day, weekly progress of checkpoints…I'd just like to be able to use this week and have more of a status report at the beginning of next week and just go from there.
"One of my goals all along was to get back at the end of the week (of) this last preseason game just to give you two weeks of on-the-field work. I think it will answer some questions that Coach Caldwell has and that I have. You have to get out there around the guys to really know kind of where you are and how you feel."
Manning joined the practice field with his teammates on Monday as the team prepared for its Thursday encounter with Cincinnati. His participation was on a limited basis, and the work he did on the field was scripted and on a controlled basis.
"Yes, he's progressing along as the doctors would allow him to work just a little bit more and get into limited activities," said Caldwell. "Obviously, he's been throwing…Nevertheless, it's just going to be a limited amount…'Scripted' means that we know exactly what he's going to do prescribed by his rehab specialist and our medical team."
Prior to practice, Manning was asked what specifically remains for him to rehabilitate and what part of his game needs attention as part of that process. Manning had fun with a good-natured response.
"I don't know what HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996)
stands for, but I believe in it and I practice it (smiles). I will leave it at that."
In 2008, Manning returned this particular week after rehabilitating from knee surgery. He did not play during the preseason, but started the opener a week later against Chicago. He dressed for that year's preseason finale without playing, but he will not dress this weekend.
"I came back the week for the Bengals game and actually dressed for that last preseason game. I won't dress for the game (this week). (In 2008) I was back on the field doing some (work) this week (of that preseason) and went down there and dressed for that game. I won't do that. I will use this week and try to get better. That's been my goal all along, to get better…I can't give you any more than what I'm giving you."
The club has played during the preseason with quarterback Curtis Painter starting the first three games. Indianapolis signed veteran signal-caller Kerry Collins late last week, and Collins will see action on Thursday in Cincinnati. Manning was asked about working with both players in his absence from the field.
"It's a tough question for me to answer because Curtis Painter is one of my best friends on the team," said Manning. "I have known Kerry (Collins) for a long time. I'm all about helping the team be a better football team. Our goal at this point is to start out with a (game) one win. I want to do whatever I can to make that happen. My goal certainly is to be out there playing. When I'm not doing my rehab or trying to get myself better and ready to play, I'm doing what I can to help Curtis and to help Kerry. I think that's been a pretty common goal amongst our team. When a guy is injured, he's helping whoever his back-up is to help play. I do what I can to help both those guys and at the same time trying to get ready to play myself."
Manning has completed 4,682 of 7,210 passes for 54,828 yards with 399 touchdowns and 198 interceptions. He is the only quarterback in NFL history to have 200 more touchdown passes than interceptions. His next scoring pass will be the 400th of his career and will make him only the third player to reach that milestone.
Manning won MVP honors in 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2009. His nine consecutive Pro Bowl nominations rank second in club history. He ranks third in NFL career completions, passing yards and touchdowns. His 141 wins as a starting quarterback rank fourth in league history, first among active players.
Manning completed 450 of 679 passes for 4,700 yards, with 33 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 2010, setting franchise seasonal-bests in completions, attempts and yards, while setting the NFL seasonal mark in completions. Manning became the only NFL player to throw for 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns in 13 career-opening seasons. His 11 4,000 -yard seasons are the NFL record, as are his three 4,500 -yard seasons.
Since the outset of his brilliant career, Manning has missed only one snap due to injury. He has started the first 208 games of his career, the most in league history by any player at any position. The lone play he missed came in 2001 after suffering a broken jaw. He returned to finish the contest, and all other plays he missed during the rest of his career came in games where the outcome was decided.
The durability streak long has been one that is very important to Manning among all of his achievements. It is a measure of being there for his teammates, coaches and the organization. It is not something, however, that he would try to extend if he is not fully capable of helping the Colts play Houston on September 11.
"Absolutely not. No. I have to be able to competitively play. I have too much respect for football to (do that). Could I go out there and take the opening snap or take a series? Yeah, I could do that, absolutely, but I have to be able to compete and help my team win. That's what's fair to the team. It is fair to myself. My goal, what I've asked the organization, is for it to be my decision, using the input of the doctors and Jim Caldwell and (Director of Rehabilitation) Erin (Barill) and (Offensive Coordinator) Clyde (Christensen). Not to make any decision until that point, until we absolutely have to. They've promised me that they will allow that to be the case. I feel I will make the right decision for the right reason, but I don't have to make it yet."