Peyton Manning had plenty of reasons to retire before playing another snap of professional football in his life, and that was before Sports Illustrated columnist Don Banks reported he had a fourth, secret neck surgery this offseason.
It was widely thought that Manning had undergone three medical procedures to repair neck issues over the past two years, which kept him on the sidelines this season.
Banks’ investigation led him to believe that the secret surgery happened between May 23—when Manning had a bulging disk corrected—and Sept. 9 when he underwent one-level cervical neck fusion surgery.
It would be incredible if the future Hall of Fame QB somehow made a comeback from all of these injuries to such an important part of the body. However, it’s looking highly unlikely and Manning should give retirement serious consideration.
The SI report noted that bone spurs have most likely developed near the location of the fusion surgery, that the organization believes that he will require further procedures to clear them out and that possibly a second fusion would be in order.
With all of this on the table, there should be no doubt in the QB’s mind that it is time to retire.
There’s nothing else he needs to accomplish and it should be more important to take care of himself and his family down the road.
Manning has a wife and twin children to go home to—it shouldn’t be worth it for him to risk permanent damage to his neck and spine to play another season or two in the NFL.
He’s won a Super Bowl trophy and MVP award, been a four-time league MVP, made the Pro Bowl 11 times, had eight All-Pro team appearances and set a ton of records with his arm.
Manning is a hero in Indianapolis and will always be remembered as one of the greatest to play the game.
The QB should walk away healthy and happy, as his legacy is already cemented.