Don Banks of Sports Illustrated reported today that Colts QB Peyton Manning has actually had three neck surgeries and another previously undisclosed 'procedure' that might or might not have been a surgery in a 19-month period rather than the three surgeries everyone has until today reported.
Banks also reported that Manning has potentially developed bone spurs above the point where the latest surgery fusion surgery occurred. And, in what was a sad narrative of an injured aging warrior trying to overcome his body's failings, Banks writes how Manning tried hard to get back on the field for at least one of the final two games of the season but failed.
Manning was so unable to be his old self in late December that he only worked on red zone offensive plays because he couldn't really complete a pass of more than 20-22 yards at the time. And even that attempt failed.
If this doesn't add another layer of concern to the actual state of Manning's health, I cannot fathom what else can. Interestingly, none of the pro-Manning media types over at ESPN have refuted the story or come to Manning's public relations defense. If that is to happen, it will happen Thursday.
So do Dolphins fans that have been super excited and advocating Manning's signing in case of his release remain in favor of the move?
I would say that it has been six weeks since that failed late December attempt by Manning to return. And by accounts he has improved his arm strength. Former Florida State and Carolina Panthers QB Chris Weinke said today on my radio show that when he had a similar surgery in the winter of 1998, he basically had to re-learn how to throw the football and that he was not ready for spring football in 1999.
Weinke did say he regain his strength by the following fall so he's told Manning to be encouraged by that.
But none of that makes a bone spur on the cervical spine requiring another surgery good news.
I'll continue to try and flush out as much of the story as I can. Banks, who I've know for nearly 30 years, will be on my radio, Armando and Perkins on Thursday at 9 a.m. You can listen on 640-AM in South Florida or watch the show by clicking the link to webcast right here starting at 6 a.m. You can also join the chat or call in toll free from anywhere in the United States.