Indianapolis Colts: Is This the Year Peyton Manning Falls?

Brandon PraterContributor IIAugust 23, 2011

Peyton Manning.

That name alone has struck fear in every defense in the NFL for 13 years.

If I were to post every career award or record Manning has gained, or broken, it would take up more than half of this article. No one will deny that he is an NFL legend, and the best quarterback to grace a Colts uniform since Johnny Unitas.

Alas, it might all be coming to an end.

Manning had his second neck surgery in 15 months in May of 2011, and while it was said that the procedure was "minimally invasive" and that he expects to make "a quick recovery," here we are in Week 2 of the preseason and he still hasn't played a down of football, in a game or otherwise.

This does not bode well for the Colts.

While it's almost a certainty that Manning will play in Week 1, it's a question of how this injury will affect his play. He's 35 years old and not exactly getting any younger.

As much as people want to believe that Manning will make a full recovery and will put up ridiculous numbers in 2011, things are not looking very good.

Jim Irsay is known to throw ridiculous tweets and comments around but his latest tweet has sent the NFL world in a dither of speculation.

"Brad, I'm in Hattiesburg...Is it right or left at the Firechief?"

Brett Favre has denied allegations of playing for the Miami Dolphins, but this is not Miami, it's the Colts. Even if Favre never plays again, this signals a major concern for the Colts organization. Peyton Manning may not be ready for the season opener and they are openly shopping for quarterbacks.

Now, I am fairly certain that Manning will play sometime in 2011, whether it be in the season opener or a couple of weeks in. But do not look for him to have a "Peyton Manning" season.

Irsay has been surprisingly vague about Manning's injury and how it came to be, and only recently is it being thrown around that it is "possibly serious," like nobody knew before.

It'll be a sad day for the NFL when Peyton finally calls it quits, but the time may be coming sooner than we think.