Peyton Manning underwent successful neck fusion surgery yesterday (sounds scary) and will miss at least 2-3 months of the season. Considered by many as the most indispensable player in the league Manning's absence will have a profound impact on the Colts organization. The streak of nine consecutive division titles will come to a screeching halt and once the Colts are eliminated from playoff contention they will most likely rest Manning for the entire season. Is Peyton Manning a casualty of the NFL lockout?
Absolutely. For months we've heard Peyton say that without access to team facilities and doctors his recovery from surgery in May was slower than expected. Without sound advice and monitoring of his condition Manning was left on his own to determine the best course of action for himself and his career.
In addition Peyton signed a $90,000,000 contract this off season and more than half of that money is guaranteed. If the 4 time MVP can't return to his former greatness and the Colts are forced to go in a different direction the financial ramifications would be disastrous.
It's ironic that the greed of the NFL owners may have cost them the goose that lays the golden eggs. Peyton Manning carries the league on his back and without the clean cut image, charming personality, and marketing power he possesses the NFL will suffer significantly. There is no one else with that unique combination.
It's hard to imagine a football season without Peyton Manning. For 13 years the guy has taken every snap for the Colts and been involved in some of the greatest playoff games in NFL history. If he could have picked up a phone or had a brief meeting with the Colts medical staff this whole tragic ordeal probably could have been avoided. Get well Peyton, the NFL needs you.