(CBS) The Indianapolis Colts have confirmed that Peyton Manning had surgery on his neck for the third time in the last 19 months Thursday.
In a statement released by the team, the Colts revealed that Manning underwent a single level anterior fusion and the procedure was “uneventful”. The team said rehab will be neccessary, but they will keep Manning on the active roster “until we have a clearer picture of his recovery process.”
Though there’s no sure timetable as to when Manning will return, Sports Illustrated’s injury expert Will Caroll told The Score’s Boers & Bernstein that he may not return — ever.
“This could very well be a career-ender. You have to think about what this operation is, which is basically taking out one of the discs in between vertebrae, in this case in between C6 and C7 of the cervical spine, basically right at the base of the neck, and they fuse those together by putting plates in, steel plates. They go in through the front, they take out the disc, and they screw in usually two, but sometimes three plates depending on the size – Peyton’s a big guy.
“He will have no flexion there, he will have no cushioning there, he will have reduced flexibility in all ways, he will have reduced rotation, and he will be more susceptible to spinal injuries if the neck were violently shaken in any matter. All that adds up to really, really bad,” said Caroll.
Caroll also said that Peyton make look to his family history in regards to whether he will return to the field.
“I think it’s gonna come down to a lifestyle decision. One thing you have to remember, and this is not in anyway related to the injury he has, but his brother, Cooper, ended his football career because of a spinal injury and has went on and done a lot of things with his life. I think Peyton is going to be able to look at what Cooper’s done in his life, and say, ‘You know what, I’ve accomplished a lot.’ I think the most important record to him was that consecutive games streak, I think he’s going to look and see the window is closing on this Colts team and I think it’s going to be a very difficult decision for him. I know he’ll want to play, but I also think he’s smart enough to consider not playing again,” he said.
LISTEN: Sports Illustrated’s injury expert, Will Caroll, joins Boers & Bernstein to discuss Manning’s injury
After having surgery in May, Manning was supposed to be ready for training camp, but continued to feel discomfort and was not activated off the Physically Unable to Perform List until Aug. 29. Manning started to practice but was still feeling discomfort.
According to the NFL Nework’s Mike Lombardi, Manning has been traveling all over the country trying to find a solution and that led to another surgical procedure.
Colts owner Jim Irsay wrote on Twitter earlier Thursday that his quarterback would be “out for awhile.”