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Colts #18 Is Signed, Doing Rehab At Training Camp

Press Release from Colts.com,

Indianapolis Colts players reported to training camp at Anderson University on Sunday morning.

Among the first to arrive was quarterback Peyton Manning. The 14-year pro reached a contract agreement on Saturday. He signed the contract on Sunday afternoon.

Manning’s focus now at camp is on rehabilitation from neck surgery that was performed in May to correct a disc problem. He took a break early yesterday afternoon to update followers.

“I just came from a rehab session. That was important for me to get all this done (negotiations), so I could concentrate just on one thing, and that’s getting healthy,” said Manning. “I have had a lot weighing on me with the lockout and my involvement in the lockout discussions with De(Maurice) Smith and Jeff (Saturday), and then, of course, trying to get this contract done. It is nice to get those two things behind me. I can concentrate on one thing now and that’s getting healthy.”

Manning always has been about preparation. Training camp traditionally has been one of his favorite times of the year because of the intense focus the atmosphere provides. For the second time in his career, however, camp will provide a different purpose and though he can have the best care possible, he refrains from playing doctor himself.

“I do think the fact that we are here in Anderson, which I am glad that Bill and Jim decided to come back here, it’s about as concentrated of an environment as you can have for football, for film study and for rehab,” he said. “A couple years ago (2008 training camp), I had the same situation (with an injury) and the trainers are all here (in camp), nobody has to get in a car, so that can only help me I think.

“I can’t really give you an update. I have just been evaluated by the doctors and trainers, and we’ve kind of formulated a plan. We started today and we will go multiple times a day. Nobody wants to get healthy more than I do. I don’t like missing practice. I am not comfortable with that. As soon as this is all behind us, I want to do whatever I can to get back out there as soon as I can.”

In a statement released by the club Saturday, a team physician offered medical indications that Manning is progressing steadily but has rehabilitation ahead and though recovery from disc surgery is unpredictable, it is not a medical concern that he is not ready at this time.

Sunday, Polian referred back to the statement when discussing the rehabilitation.

“His (Dr. Hank Feuer) assessment was lengthy, detailed, but, by and large, positive. To capsule it in a nutshell, the nerve is coming back,” said Polian. “It’s on its way to recovery. It’s showing positive signs. It’s likely to accelerate now that Peyton’s back with people he knows and trusts and can work (with) on an intense level, but there’s no timetable. As the statement that Dr. Feuer issued, there is no timetable with these kinds of injuries. You simply cannot say it’s like a knee and he’ll be back in six weeks. You don’t know, and to speculate would be foolish.”

Because Manning is not ready for practice, the club took an additional step to help the matter.

“I am very anxious to get back (on the field),” he said. “Part of the reason I think that Bill (Polian) and Coach Caldwell decided to put me on PUP was just to keep from every day saying, ‘How about going out today and doing something.’ It’s so I can concentrate just on rehab for a period of time, and we will gauge it (my health) every couple of weeks or every week, depending on how I am coming along. That made sense to me. Am I anxious? Absolutely.”

During the lockout and prior to his May surgery, Manning was able to work with a number of teammates. That time was invaluable since a few of his reliable targets, tight end Dallas Clark and wide receivers Austin Collie and Anthony Gonzalez, missed significant time last year with their own injuries. Manning knows the significance of the work he got with them before he had to stop.

“I think it is very important. That was fun for me before I was injured, to have the opportunity to throw with those guys,” Manning said. “Throwing to Dallas (Clark), it had been a long time. Throwing to (Anthony) Gonzalez, it had been a while. (Austin) Collie, I had all those guys, Pierre (Garcon), Donald (Brown), Blair White, having all those guys we really got some good throwing in, some good work in. I’ve never taken for granted the opportunity to throw the ball to guys like Dallas. Not having him last year, there’s no question that was a factor. I was happy for him that he has worked so hard in his rehab to get back healthy. He really looks good. I’m not putting any more pressure on him than he needs. He really had a good off-season, and he really looked good. I felt good that I at least got some throwing kind of in the tank with those guys. Believe me, I hated during June and July that I wasn’t able to throw to those guys because I do believe the off-season is important. I’ve said that over and over again. I’m happy those guys are back.”

Now that those guys are back in full practice mode, Manning is coming along the best he can and under the care he has.

“I’m doing some limited amount of throwing right now. I have done that,” he said. “That will be part of the plan that our trainers are mapping out. It is a number of steps that we are doing, and I have had great comfort with our training staff and our doctors throughout my career. That’s the best part about this in many ways. The lockout is over. My contract is signed and I sort of re-join them (the medical staff). Being away from them has set me back. It kept me from making the progress that I would like to make, so this is an important month. It’s a crucial month. We started right away (rehab) and, hopefully, we can make some progress.”

In his 13 seasons to date, Manning has earned 11 Pro Bowl selections and started all 208 career games, the most games to start a career at any position in NFL history. He has been among the sturdiest players in the history of the league. He has taken every snap in 178 of his 208 career regular-season games. The lone snap he missed due to injury was in 2001, when he suffered a broken jaw late in a game but returned to finish.

For his career, he has completed 4,682 of 7,210 passes for 54,828 yards and 399 touchdowns. On his next touchdown pass, Manning will join Brett Favre and Dan Marino as the only players with 400+ touchdown passes. Manning (450-679-4,700, 33 TDs) set franchise seasonal records in completions, attempts and yards in 2010, and his completions also set the NFL seasonal mark.

For Manning, being at training camp will be tough, but good. It will be difficult because of his intense work ethic. Being a spectator is not a typical role for him. It will be good in that he will be among his teammates, coaches and people in the organization. That was something he was not able to do for the duration of the lockout. Being around people in the organization has reaped the benefit of a new contract, and now he will immerse himself in a protocol set by his training staff. He hopes to get the rehabilitation concluded quickly.

“I really haven’t had the chance to be around a number of the players yet. Everybody’s just getting here. Since my surgery, I have been kind of isolated, (I’ve) been traveling, been going different places for rehab, because we couldn’t use the facilities. I certainly got a number of calls and texts yesterday from the guys. You always appreciate having support from great friends and teammates. I thought we had a very healthy conversation with Jim (Irsay) and Bill (Polian) in Jim’s office on Friday, and I felt like we were all on the same page. Like I said, the plan has been executed thus far, and it is up to me and the trainers to get healthy and get back out there.”

This can post late a.m. so it can have some visibility before we send anything else later.

THIRTEEN PLAYERS NOT PRACTICING WITH THE TEAM TODAY

Due to new NFL transition rules under the CBA, the Colts will have 13 players on the roster who will not be practicing with the team today. Those players include:

RB Joseph Addai

DB Al Afalava

LB Darry Beckwith

DB Melvin Bullitt

QB Nate Davis

OG Kyle DeVan

OT Ryan Diem

DT Eric Foster

DT Antonio Johnson

QB Peyton Manning (PUP)

QB Dan Orlovsky

OT Michael Toudouze

K Adam Vinatieri

Under the new rule, veteran players that sign contracts on or after 6 p.m., New York time on July 29 are prohibited from practicing in on-field activities, workouts, weight training or other non-physical activities prior to the start of the league year on August 4.

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