Originally posted on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 12/2/11

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning looks to throw the ball downfield during player warm ups prior to their game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas on November 29, 2009. UPI/Aaron M. Sprecher Photo via Newscom

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The Colts' on field performance really can't get much worse this season, but at least they're getting good off-field news. Peyton Manning's neck is healing, and he'll likely start to throw the football again soon. Dr. Watkins had this to say of Manning's latest check-up (from Fox 59 in Indianapolis):

"X-ray and CT examination of the surgical area shows that the fusion performed in September has achieved firm fixation," said Dr. Robert Watkins. "Peyton will now be allowed to increase the intensity and breadth of his workouts as tolerated. There remains every indication that his recovery will continue. There still is no timetable for Peyton’s return to practice, which is one of many steps in his expected return to game action."

Obviously the news isn't going to get the Colts any extra wins this season, but it should allow their likely first round draft pick, Andrew Luck, to become an understudy of Manning for a year or two before taking the reigns. That would seem to be the likely scenario, but the news raises an important question about the Colts; would they consider passing on Luck in order to try to milk another Super Bowl run or two out of the Manning era?

While only those inside the Colts organization can answer that question, they'll likely suspend judgement of the issue until they know more about Manning's injury and Andrew Luck as a player which will come in late April. Suddenly the Colts situation, while still incredibly disappointing, does seem to have a light at the end of the tunnel. It seems likely that Manning will step onto an NFL field as a player once again. If what the Jim Irsay and Bill Polian have said is true, he'll be doing so as a player for the Indianapolis Colts. There's nothing more encouraging than that if you're a Colts fan.

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