Manning May Return to Practice Tuesday, Dungy Says
INDIANAPOLIS – Peyton Manning's wait may end soon.
Manning, the Colts' eight-time Pro Bowl quarterback who missed the team's first four preseason games recovering from offseason knee surgery, could return to practice this week, Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy said Monday afternoon.
Manning has yet to practice in training camp or preseason.
"We have a chance to get Peyton activated and actually out at practice, so we'll see how that goes," Dungy said Monday, a day after the Colts' 20-7 loss to the Buffalo Bills in the first preseason game at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday night.
Manning, who never has missed a regular-season game in 10 NFL seasons, underwent surgery to remove an infected bursa sac from his knee in mid-July – 10 days before the start of training camp. He attended the Buffalo game, standing on the Colts' sideline in street clothes.
Manning, who originally was projected to be out 4-to-6 weeks, has been on the Physically Unable to Perform list since the start of training camp, and Dungy said the Colts' plan as of Monday possibly was to remove him from the PUP list Tuesday.
"This is just the next step and we'll see how it goes," Dungy said.
The Colts will play the Cincinnati Bengals in the preseason finale in Lucas Oil Stadium on Thursday. Dungy said because of the short week, and because of several other Colts injuries, Manning may not play against Cincinnati.
"But we'll see," Dungy said. "I think we'll ease him in and see how he practices and what he's able to do from there."
The news of Manning's possible return came the same day Dungy said the Colts' backup quarterback, Jim Sorgi, underwent an MRI on his knee.
Sorgi, Manning's backup the past four seasons, started the first three preseason games and practiced last week, but missed the game with a gimpy knee, according to the team. The team held him out in a coach's decision.
Jared Lorenzen started at quarterback for the Colts on Sunday, completing seven of 11 passes for 52 yards in the first half. Quinn Gray played the second half, completing 8 of 16 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown with four interceptions.
"Really, there were some things and throws the quarterbacks would like to have back," Dungy said. "But there were a lot of things that weren't the quarterbacks' fault in that game. We had a chance to move the ball and score some points and didn't really do it other than the one big throw.
"But it certainly wasn't all the quarterback."
Dungy said it wasn't yet known who will start at quarterback against the Bengals.
"A lot depends on the medical reon Jim," Dungy said. "If Jim's not able to go, it could very well be the same – Jared and Quinn splitting a half again."
Dungy said while the Colts aren't actively looking outside the active roster for a quarterback, the health status of Manning and Sorgi means it's possible the team could go that direction.
"I don't know that we're necessarily looking, but we've got two guys who are not 100 percent," Dungy said. "I don't know where they come from – if they grow on trees or that sort of thing. I wouldn't say we're looking, but we certainly wouldn't pass up any if there were a quality guy out there."
Dungy said the Colts possibly will carry a third quarterback in the regular season. Since Dungy's 2002 arrival, the Colts typically have kept just two quarterbacks on the roster.
"I think probably so at this point," Dungy said. "I think that's the way we're looking and learning. We've not been a three-quarterback team since I've been here, but I would think especially early in the season, we probably would."