There isn't much argument that Peyton Manning may have been the best thing to ever happen to the Indianapolis Colts. Manning has had an impressive career, throwing for 54,828 yards and scoring 399 touchdowns during his first thirteen seasons. Manning seemed to be the player the had the ability to make or break the Colts' performance on the field and this proved to be even more true when the Colts floundered without Manning to carry them due to an injury last season.
Manning's neck surgeryFollowing consultation with multiple physicians, Manning made the decision to undergo surgery to perform a one-level cervical neck fusion. The surgery was described as being uneventful and was the third surgery that Manning had underwent within the last nineteen months. This surgery, although commonly performed in America on individuals young and old, requires a great deal of rehabilitation. Manning is currently following a rehabilitation plan as outlined by his physician. The good news, however, is that Manning's neck appears to be healing properly. Despite the progress Manning has made since the surgery, there is still no word as to whether Manning will be returning next season or not.
Manning's surgery was seriousThe surgery that Manning underwent, although common in America, isn't one to brush off as nothing more than a tonsillectomy. Manning had vertebrae in the cervical region of his spine fused together, most likely to help stabilize his neck following an injury or as a way of treated the bulging disc that Manning had underwent surgery for previously. Although many people make a full and complete recovery after a spinal fusion, this type of surgery is very serious and could have lasting effects for Manning.
Time to hang up the cleatsManning is undoubtedly an amazing and skilled player, but it is time for him to hang up the cleats. No matter how much Manning loves the game, the money or the fame, it simply isn't worth risking his health. No amount of money or fame is worth it. Manning needs to focus on his own health and ignore the pleas of his fans for him to return. Football is a rough sport and Manning could easily become injured again, except next time, he may not be so lucky. It wouldn't take much for another injury to lead to something more catastrophic, like full body paralysis, for Manning. Manning truly was an exceptional player and he has enjoyed a very long and successful career, but now it is time for Manning and his fans to let go.
*Samantha Van Vleet is a former high school athlete. She is currently a biology major at UAA and has a special interest in the areas of health and nutrition as they relate to sports and athletics.