Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has had an impressive career on the field. Few will disagree that Manning was likely the best thing that ever happened to the Colts. Manning however, has had a rough time with health issues, surgeries and rehabilitation. Despite Manning's skill on the field, fans are becoming doubtful that Manning will make a comeback. (See my article, "Peyton Manning's Neck Injury; Will Manning Return to Football?")
Manning underwent third surgery in 19 monthsAfter sustaining a neck injury and careful consultation with multiple physicians, Manning made the decision to undergo a one-level cervical neck fusion. The surgery was the third surgery that Manning had underwent in the last nineteen months and was described as "uneventful." The surgery, although commonly performed in America, requires extensive rehabilitation efforts. Manning is believed to be healing well, but even so, there is speculation that Manning won't be able to return to football next season.
Manning needs to consider his healthWith Manning in the physical condition he currently is, returning to football may not be a wise decision. Manning is at greater risk for sustaining further injury to his neck and spinal cord. In his compromised physical health, Manning would likely be risking paralysis or even his life should he return to the field. Even with the serious risks associated with returning to football, his fans are still reluctant see him go. (See my article, "A Medical Perspective: It's Time For Peyton Manning to Hang Up His Cleats")
Coaching could be a win-win for ManningManning has made numerous contributions to the world of football. Some would even say that Manning revolutionized the way the game was played. Regardless of Mannings skill, the fact remains that the Colts can't afford to just let Manning go and Manning's fans don't want to see him go. Rumors are already circulating that Stanford's quarterback Andrew Luck is next in line for Manning's position as the Colts quarterback. It's becoming more and more clear that Manning isn't likely to ever be what he once was, but perhaps keeping Manning on as a coach to his successor would be a good alternative to returning the injured quarterback to the field.
*Samantha Van Vleet is a former high school athlete. She is a biology major at UAA and has a special interest in the areas of health and nutrition as they relate to sports.