As the 2011-2012 NFL season gets ready to kickoff on Sept. 8, the Indianapolis Colts are sliding further and further away from their solidarity.
Their usual comfort zone of having Manning at the beginning of every season is uncertain for this upcoming one. According to multiple sources, quarterback Peyton Manning is doubtful to make his 209th consecutive start during Week 1. Manning is still recovering from neck surgery that he had after last season, and with his health in question who knows if he'll every play another down of football again.
According to Skip Bayless, top debater on ESPN's First Take, Manning will return to the field by Week one, but his counterpart, Rob Parker believes that Manning should choose health over the love of the game and retire. Many analysts are split between what the future holds for the potential Hall of Fame quarterback, but when looking at his career and past success, it is hard to disagree with the people who believe Manning should turn to a new chapter in his life; the life after football.
Manning is entering his 14th season in the NFL. He has won a Superbowl and a Superbowl MVP in 2007, threw for over 54,000 yards and 399 touchdowns, completed 65 percent of his passes and has a 95.0 quarterback rating for his career. After experiencing the highest of the highs and now the lowest of the lows as a NFL player, Manning does not have anything else to prove.
His toughness should never be questioned because he has never missed a game after enduring 13 entire seasons of the brutal wear and tear of professional football.
Although he's tough, Manning's health is still the biggest concern for the Colts' organization, but they also have many other concerns. They have a young inexperienced offensive line, and they do not have the same receiving core that helped Manning earn his prestigious accolades. "It only takes one missed assignment by an offensive lineman," Rob Parker, ESPN First Take debater said. One missed block, a clear path and hard hit from a defender on Manning can end his and any other NFL player's football career and possibly hinder their life after football. Should Manning take that risk? His toughness may say yes, but who knows if his mind and his family will vote in favor of returning for another NFL season.