Indianapolis, IN—One week ago the Colts signed Kerry Collins, a move that made some think that Peyton Manning would not be ready for the regular season opener.
Monday, the four-time NFL MVP was taken of the pre-season physically unable to perform list and practiced with his teammates for the first time this season.
"This was one of my goals all along to get back the week of this last preseason game and give me two weeks of on the field work," said Manning in the locker room Monday before heading out to an afternoon practice session.
While there will likely be quite a bit of people helping decide if Peyton is ready to pass against the Texans, Manning will actually make the final decision.
"My goal, what I've asked the organization, if for it to be my decision. Using the input of the doctors, Coach Caldwell, Erin (Barill), Clyde (Christensen), not to make any decisions until that point, until we absolutely have to. They've promised me that they'll allow that to be the case, I feel I'll make the right decision for the right reasons," said Peyton while answering a question about whether the consecutive games streak will factor into his decision.
Manning will not play against the Bengals Thursday, but Kerry Collins will see his first game action as a member of the Colts.
"I'm going to get significant playing time I would think, whether or not I start or not, I don't know," said Collins.
While there are still quite a few unanswered questions concerning the Colts quarterback situation, Monday's developments should be considered positive.
Peyton Manning practiced, and the sometimes serious quarterback engaged the media with a very entertaining question and answer session.
"I know everybodys into predictions and everybody wants to have the breaking news, but I just cant give you any more than what Im giving you. Just do me a favor, please dont ask the lineman and receivers how Im doing, because it annoys them and they get mad at me. You all just took 15 minutes of (Jeff) Saturdays workout time answering questions about me, and now hes mad at me. So you all could do me a favor there and just ask me, and then maybe ask (Jim) Caldwell. Hopefully leave everyone else alone, if thats possible. Just a request, I know you dont have to do it."
Despite the (good-natured) plea to keep the questions away from his teammates, Peyton's health is likely to remain one of the top stories in the NFL as we move closer to the start of the regular season.