Peyton Manning officially returned to the practice field Monday after being activated off the Indianapolis Colts’ physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
It was the Pro Bowl quarterback’s first workout with the team since last January due to the National Football League’s 4 1/2-month labor lockout as well as the May 23 surgical procedure to repair a bulging disc in his neck. He had been on the PUP list since the start of training camp.
“It will be nice to get back out there on the practice field and be able to do a few more things than what I’ve been able to do. I’d like to just be able to do what I [can], use this week and have more of a status report before the beginning of next week, and then just kind of go from there,” Manning said prior to Monday afternoon’s workout. It was his first extended meeting with the team’s media in several weeks.
“This was one of my goals all along, to get back during the week of this last preseason game. This would give you two weeks of on-the-field work. And it can give you a pretty good answer to some questions that Coach [Jim] Caldwell has and that I have. So you have to get out there around the guys to really know where you are and how you feel.”
The four-time NFL Most Valuable Player has been undergoing rehabilitation with Colts medical personnel, specifically rehab specialist Erin Barille, since the end of the lockout. His rehab workload increased after the start of camp in Anderson in early August.
By returning this week, prior to the team’s final preseason game at Cincinnati on Thursday night, Manning will have nearly two weeks to test himself. He will then decide, in consultation with the team doctors and Caldwell, if he’s ready to start against Houston on Sept. 11.
“[I want to] use this week and try to get better. That’s kind of been my goal all along, trying to get better. I know everybody’s into predictions and everybody wants to have the breaking news. But I just can’t give you any more than what I’m giving you,” he voiced, while adding a semi-joking request.
“Just do me a favor. Please don’t ask the lineman and receivers how I’m doing because it annoys them and they get 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 that’s possible. Just a request, I know you don’t have to do it.”
As for asking for additional information on his neck surgery or details as to how his rehabilitation is going, Manning opted to plead the fifth.
“I don’t know what HIPAA [health privacy legislation] stands for, but I believe in it and I practice it. I’ll leave it at that,” he smiled.
n Talking Kerry Collins — They’ve been friends and acquaintances for several years, as well as AFC South rivals, so Manning is very familiar with the Colts’ newest quarterback.
He is also close friends with his primary backup for the last couple of seasons, Curtis Painter. So it’s understandable if there is a bit of a tightrope that Manning is trying to navigate.
“It’s a tough question for me to answer because Curtis Painter is one of my best friends on the team. I have known Kerry for a long time, and I’m all about helping the team be a better football team. Our goal, at this point, is to start out with a [win], and I want to do whatever I can to make that happen. My goal is certainly to be out there playing,” he said.
“But when I’m not doing my rehab or trying to get myself better, ready to play, I’m doing what I can to help Curtis and to help Kerry. I think that’s been a pretty common goal. When a guy is injured, he’s helping whoever his backup is to help play. So I will do what I can to help both those guys. And, at the same time, try to get ready to play myself.”
• Collins on Manning — During the previous five seasons, there were times that Kerry Collins stood on the Tennessee Titans’ sideline watching Peyton Manning and wondered what it would be like to run an offense like the Colts.
Now he knows.
“It’s really cool. For so many years, I’ve watched him do it. And I’ve always kind of wondered ‘What’s he doing?’ I think everybody does. Now, to be in it and to see what he does and how he does it, is a real thrill,” Collins said Monday.
“From a quarterback standpoint, I think we all kind of look at this and are kind of envious in a way to just how well he does it and what this offense is about. Like I said, to be in here and be a part of it, is a really neat experience.”
• No playing for the streak — Manning was adamant Monday that he would not make a token appearance against the Texans in two weeks in order to keep his streak of consecutive starts at quarterback intact. He has started 208 regular-season games in a row, 227 counting the playoffs, after being drafted in 1998. That’s the longest active streak in the NFL.
“Absolutely not, no. Like I said [during a television interview during last Friday night’s preseason game with Green Bay], I have to be able to competitively play. I have too much respect for football. Could I go out there and take the opening snap or take a series? Yes, I could do that. Absolutely. But I’ve got to be able to compete and to help my team win. And that’s what’s fair to the team, fair to myself,” he stressed.
“I think my goal, what I’ve asked the organization, is for it to be my decision. Using the input of the doctors, Jim Caldwell, Erin [Barille], and [offensive coordinator] Clyde [Christenen]. Not to make any decision until that point, until we absolutely have to. They’ve promised me that they’ll allow that to be the case. And I feel I’ll make the right decision for the right reasons. But I don’t have to make it yet.”
• Roster moves — The Colts signed safety Michael Hamlin on Monday and waived/injured cornerback Cornelius Brown.
Hamlin is a two-year NFL veteran who has been with Dallas (2009-10) and Jacksonville (2010). He was originally a fifth-round selection by the Cowboys in the 2009 NFL Draft.
• Injury list — Among those sitting out Monday’s practice were safety Antoine Bethea (hamstring), wide receivers Anthony Gonzalez (hamstring) and Austin Collie (foot), offensive tackle Ryan Diem (groin) and wide receiver Blair White (PUP, back).
Returning for practice were safety Al Afalava (groin), linebacker Gary Brackett (elbow) and defensive end Robert Mathis (hamstring).
Peyton Manning officially returned to the practice field Monday after being activated off the Indianapolis Colts’ physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
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Colts hoping for more high marks on draft picks
A year ago, the Indianapolis Colts received high marks for the impact players the team added through the NFL draft.
Of the 10 players selected, five ended up either starting or seeing extensive playing time (quarterback Andrew Luck, tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and running back Vick Ballard) during the Colts’ 11-5 season.
While this year’s class may not rival that group in terms of name recognition and flash, it may produce just as many major contributors once the 2013 season gets underway.
Werner at top of game
Bjoern Werner was a late comer to football. But after being selected in the first round of the 2013 National Football League draft by the Indianapolis Colts, Werner realizes that he has reached the pinnacle of the sport in a relatively short amount of time.
Colts select pass rusher Werner in first round
The Indianapolis Colts selected Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner. The 6-foot-3, 266-pound defensive lineman can also play left outside linebacker.
Colts in wait-and-see mode for tonight’s NFL draft
As the 2013 NFL draft gets underway tonight at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the Indianapolis Colts are continuing their wait-and-see stance in regard to the first-round pick.
The draft begins at 8 p.m. — televised by the NFL Network and ESPN — with the Kansas City Chiefs making the night’s first selection. Teams will have 10 minutes to make their decisions during the first round. Indianapolis will have the 24th overall pick in the first round.
There will be only one round tonight. The second and third rounds are scheduled for Friday, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with seven minutes allotted per pick in the second round and five minutes allowed in the third. The final four rounds are slated to begin at noon Saturday with four minutes between selections.
As it stands now, Indianapolis does not have a second-round pick. It was traded to Miami last fall in exchange for veteran cornerback Vontae Davis. But second-year general manager Ryan Grigson has nut ruled out the possibility of trading down from the first round if the Colts aren’t satisfied with the players available.
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Colts veteran among those excited to see Luck's growth in 2013-14
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Redding, who has become one of the Colts’ lockerroom leaders after just one season with the team, thinks he has some reasonable expectations of Indianapolis’ former No. 1 draft pick.
Heyward-Bey feeling fortunate to hook up with Luck
Add one more player to the list of veteran free agents signed by the Indianapolis Colts this offseason.
Former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey agreed to a a deal with the Colts late Monday evening. Bey, who played collegiately at Maryland, was the seventh player selected in the first round of the 2009 National Football League draft.
Colts sign nose tackle
Another day, more player signings for the Indianapolis Colts.
Nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin agreed to terms with the Colts on Tuesday evening and officially signed with the team Wednesday. Franklin (6-1, 315) is a 10-year NFL veteran with stops in Baltimore (2003-06), San Francisco (2007-10), New Orleans (2011) and San Diego (2012).
Colts sign Matt Hasselbeck to back up Luck
The Indianapolis Colts’ roster moves just keep coming.
While the Colts haven’t yet added that big-name wide receiver that team owner Jim Irsay hinted at in tweets over the weekend, Indianapolis has addressed one area on offense.
Former Tennessee Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck had agreed Monday night to be the Colts’ primary back-up to second-year starter Andrew Luck. He officially signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the team Tuesday morning.
“We are very pleased to announce the signing of Matt Hasselbeck,” general manager Ryan Grigson said in a prepared statement. “His body of work, intangibles, and extensive league experience speak for themselves. Those factors, plus his familiarity with our offensive scheme, will make him a great asset to our team and its vision as we move forward.”
Colts likely done signing free agents, for now
With the possible exception of adding a few lesser-priced players, the Indianapolis Colts’ big-time foray into the veteran free-agent marketplace is pretty much done.
Landry, Jean Francois join Colts defensive unit
After adding five veteran free agent players to the Indianapolis Colts roster on Tuesday, general manager Ryan Grigson plucked two more plums late Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon.
New York Jets safety LaRon Landry and San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois both signed contracts with the Colts. Landry, a strong safety who appears to be a bigger version of former Indianapolis Pro Bowler Bob Sanders, and the versatile Jean-Francois are expected to make immediate impacts on the Colts’ defensive unit.
Colts introduce free-agent signees
What the Indianapolis Colts accomplished last season — posting an 11-5 record and earning an AFC wild-card berth with a young team plus having that kind of success without its head coach on the sidelines for 12 games — didn’t go unnoticed by players around the NFL.
That was especially true for the five veteran free agents who were added to the Colts’ roster Tuesday. Offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus (Detroit), cornerback Greg Toler (Arizona), outside linebacker Erik Walden (Green Bay), offensive guard Donald Thomas (New England) and linebacker Lawrence Sidbury (Atlanta) admitted as much Wednesday.
“I felt like this would be the best fit for me at this point in my career. I really liked what I saw was happening with the program here and the way things have taken shape. I feel like we have a really great team here and it’s on the rise. I really wanted to be a part of that,” Thomas said during a teleconference interview with the Colts’ media.
Colts sign five free agents, filling needs at offensive line, cornerback
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Jeff Saturday retires as a Colt
An Indianapolis Colt for life. Pencil in Jeff Saturday for that honor.
The 14-year veteran center in the NFL put an official stamp on a career Thursday that began in Baltimore in 1998 and ended in Green Bay in 2012. But it was those 13 seasons in between — from 1999 to 2011 in which he played for Indianapolis — when Saturday earned his greatest rewards.
Saturday thrilled to retire as a Colt
The 14-year veteran center in the National Football League put an official stamp on a career Thursday that began in Baltimore in 1998 and ended in Green Bay in 2012. But it was those 13 seasons in-between — from 1999 to 2011 in which he played for Indianapolis — that Saturday earned his greatest rewards.
Saturday to retire as Colt on Thursday
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Indianapolis franchises punter McAfee
A week ago, Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano said it was a priority that the team retain the services of punter Pat McAfee.
McAfee, an unrestricted free agent who’s contract is due to expire March 12, was designated as the Colts’ franchise player Friday. The move allows Indianapolis extra time to work out a long-term deal for the team’s special-teams ace.
“He’s huge. He’s a major priority in free agency. Obviously, we’ve reached out and are working to get Pat re-signed,” Pagano said during the National Football Scouting Combine. “We saw what he did for us last year. He’s a great weapon, not only kickoffs and touchbacks.
Colts GM enjoying time at combine
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Colts keeping eye on large crop of talented linemen in NFL Draft
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Among the offensive line candidates who have been showcasing their talents at the National Football Scouting Combine, which began in earnest Thursday and wraps up on Tuesday, the spotlight has been on the offensive tackles. Offensive left tackles in particular.
Colts' Pagano back to full work schedule at combine
Back and ready to go.
That’s the attitude Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano is taking during the National Football Scouting Combine, which completed its second day of operations Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium. During a wide-ranging press conference at the combine, Pagano confirmed that he is back to a full work regimen after missing 12 games last fall as he battled a rare form of leukemia.
After undergoing cancer treatments that featured heavy doses of chemotherapy, the second-year head coach was able to return to the sidelines for Indianapolis’ final regular-season home game against Houston and for the team’s AFC wild-card matchup with eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore.
Colts looking forward to different approach to draft in 2013
A year ago, the Indianapolis Colts had the first overall pick in the 2012 National Football League draft.
It was a foregone conclusion that the Colts would select former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the selection. While Indianapolis front office and player personnel officials certainly had to do their due diligence in preparing for the draft, the Colts find themselves this year in a bit different situation.
The team will have the 24th overall pick in the first round, which is a double-edged sword. Indianapolis picks lower in the round due to a successful season. But the pool of available can’t-miss talent isn’t quite as plentiful as drafting earlier in the round.
Former Pro Bowl selection Freeney won't return to Colts
The news coming out of the Indianapolis Colts headquarters Friday afternoon was not totally unexpected. Team officials have confirmed that two veteran players – former Pro Bowl defensive end/outside linebacker Dwight Freeney and wide receiver Austin Collie — will not be returning for the 2013 season.
Colts’ new offensive coordinator will offer variety
Quarterback Andrew Luck running the Pistol offense? Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton lining up in the Wildcat?
Colts moving on to the off season
Moving on. That’s the immediate plans for the Indianapolis Colts as they head into the off season.
Baltimore ends Indy’s playoff run early
The Baltimore Ravens want one long final ride for Ray Lewis. Having disposed of Andrew Luck and the Colts, they now face a more imposing challenge.
Next up, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Switching sides: Colts-Ravens matchup includes old friends on new teams
Just as Baltimore Ravens players and coaches will be seeing some old friends returning to M&T Bank Stadium today, several Indianapolis Colts veterans will also have an opportunity to renew acquaintances with a familiar face.
Pagano prepares Colts for tough crowd in Baltimore
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