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Polian Says Manning “Will Be Back At Some Point”

The unthinkable suddenly seems possible in Indianapolis — opening the season without Peyton Manning. The four-time league-MVP who has never missed a start in his NFL career is doubtful for Sunday’s game at Houston because of lingering soreness in his back following offseason neck surgery.

If Manning sits, it would be the first time the NFL’s active iron man missed a meaningful game after 227 consecutive starts, including the playoffs. It’s the second-longest streak among NFL quarterbacks behind Brett Favre. Colts vice chairman Bill Polian all but conceded that Manning would miss the opener in comments Monday to WISH-TV. “He is going to be back at some point,” Polian said.

“What we don’t know right now is what the results of the diagnostic tests are, what is the prognosis going forward. This is uncharted territory, but we do know that the nerve regeneration takes time and it just hasn’t healed yet. It will.

“It’s frustrating for Peyton, certainly it’s a bit frustrating for us, but we recognized that the most important thing is that he heals up and he gets ready to go. It’s no sense having him out there in an impaired condition, so the bottom line is he’ll be back at some point. We don’t know when. We can’t predict when. But whenever it is, it will be good to have him back. In the meantime, Kerry [Collins] will hold the fort, and we’ll go from here.”

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