INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 31: A fan holds up a t-shirt which reads "got Peyton" in reference to quarterback Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts during Media Day ahead of Super Bowl XLVI between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 31, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
During Super Bowl week the NFL usually likes all the focus and attention to be on the two teams playing, the host city or anything related to the Super Bowl. They probably don't want fans talking about 35-year old dude's neck but that 35-year old dude used to throw a football pretty dang well so continue to track the latest on Peyton Manning.
The Indianapolis Colts quarterback has reportedly been medically cleared to play. This report comes via ESPN's Chris Mortensen. It's a little confusing but this isn't totally news. At least not to the extent ESPN is blowing it up.
For example, from Mort's report:
"The sources said Watkins examined Manning recently in Los Angeles and concluded the stability in his neck would have allowed the quarterback to play this Sunday if the nerves in his arm had regenerated to a satisfactory performance level."
He could play but only be effective IF the nerves had regenerated. And we have no clue about the nerves. He can take a hit, but may not be able to throw. Not exactly the same as he's gonna suit up tomorrow and not exactly useful unless Manning is switching positions. The regeneration of the nerves (look at me, I'm a doctor!) is what we've been talking about for a while now. There's no update on that.
I like the way SB Nation blogger and Around The Horn contributor Bomani Jones put it last night:
Peyton Manning is medically cleared to play football. He just can't throw. Such a revelation means as much as finding out that I'm medically cleared to play football. For the record, I can't throw, either.
And I can't throw either. So this isn't totally news despite what ESPN is telling you on their 85 different platforms. And the fact that this "news" is blasted on ESPN three days before the Super Bowl makes me think there are other motives at play here.
Jim Irsay, the Colts owner, has clarified that he hasn't passed the Colts physical and he's not cleared to play by them. It seems Irsay in recent weeks has been trying to frame this as a medical decision, and not a financial decision, to ease Manning's exit with the fans. Thus, Irsay doesn't really need Manning to be healthy. (That's my theory at least.)
So maybe Irsay was right: Peyton Manning the Politician.