Peyton Manning during Pro Bowl
Peyton Manning has undergone a second neck operation this year, and may be out for the entire season. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Peyton Manning, star quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts, is breaking his vaunted streak of consecutive starts after undergoing a second surgery on his neck. He may end up missing the entire 2011 NFL season.

Icon among current NFL players likely to miss whole season

There has been speculation about the status of Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts during the past few weeks; the quarterback has been plagued with neck and arm issues since the end of last season. Manning, according to Sports Illustrated, underwent surgery in May to correct issues with his neck and shoulder. The issue apparently was not resolved, and he had to have a second surgery on Sept. 8.

According to USA Today, the Colts are keeping him on the active roster but will not estimate a date for his return. The type of surgery Manning had to undergo usually requires patients to undergo a year of rehabilitation. Peyton Manning is likely to miss the entire season.

Surgery means end to start streak

Along with his prowess as a passer and leader, Manning is celebrated for a streak of consecutive starts as an NFL quarterback that is only exceeded by Brett Favre. Manning has made 207 regular season starts, according to Fox Sports, and 227 when accounting for playoff appearances, according to USA Today.

Manning underwent a single-level anterior cervical fusion, according to Sports Illustrated, in which a damaged spinal disc is removed from the spine. It is then replaced with a “plate and spacer” made from either medical-grade plastic or bones extracted from a cadaver. The patient is then fitted with a cervical collar for up to three months. Recovery time is typically at least a year. This is the third surgery Manning has undergone on his neck in the past two years, though some players have retired after similar surgeries.

Veteran takes place of star

Emmitt Smith, the Hall of Fame Dallas Cowboys running back, recently said that Manning waiting so long for the second surgery was “unacceptable,” according to USA Today. However, the surgery was deemed the only viable option. Manning has blamed limited pre-season workouts and access to training facilities as a partial reason why his rehabilitation has not been as successful as hoped.

During the preseason, the Colts convinced former Tennessee Titan’s QB Kerry Collins to come out of retirement as second-string backup. Collins appears to be slated for the starting role on Sept. 11, the first time a QB other than Manning has started a game for the Colts since Bill Clinton was president. Collins, 38, according to Wikipedia, is a two-time Pro Bowl quarterback and was the New York Giants starting quarterback in Super Bowl XXXV when the team was beaten by the Baltimore Ravens.

Sources

Sports Illustrated: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/will_carroll/09/08/peyton-manning/

Fox Sports: http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/Indianapolis-Colts-Peyton-Manning-reportedly-has-more-surgery-out-for-at-least-three-months-090811

USA Today: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/thehuddle/post/2011/09/espn-colts-qb-peyton-manning-has-more-neck-surgery/1

Wikipedia on Kerry Collins: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerry_Collins

USA Today: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/thehuddle/post/2011/09/emmitt-smith-criticizes-peyton-mannings-decision-to-have-neck-surgery-late/1?csp=obinsite

 

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