Colts owner’s tweet: Manning is out ‘awhile’

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Peyton Manning has already been declared out for Week 1. And his absence from the Indianapolis Colts’ lineup might extend beyond this week, based on a tweet from owner Jim Irsay on Thursday.

“NFL Season opens 2nite!We had a good practice yesterday and r guys r fired up 4 the season.#18’s out for awhile,but compete,we will/BELIEVE,” Irsay wrote on his Twitter page.

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Manning will be in street clothes when the team opens the season at Houston, still recovering from neck surgery while Kerry Collins starts in his place.

“To say I am disappointed in not being able to play is an understatement,” Manning said in a release from the team. “The best part about football is being out there on the field playing with my teammates. It will be tough not to be out there playing for the organization and our fans. I simply am not healthy enough to play, and I am doing everything I can to get my health back. The team will do fine without me, and I know for sure that I will miss them much more than they miss me.”

Manning had neck surgery to repair a nerve May 23, but the recovery has taken much longer than the expected 6-8 weeks that would have put him back on the field for the start of training camp.

He signed a five-year, $90 million contract in late July, but started camp on the physically unable to perform list and wasn’t activated until last Monday.

He did limited work at practice last week, which led to complaints about back pain. The team issued a statement saying that team doctors had re-evaluated Manning and instructed him to stop practicing while he undergoes more tests. No additional surgery has been scheduled.

On Wednesday night, Irsay debunked rumors that Manning had recently undergone another surgery on his neck.

“Peyton didn’t have a medical procedure last sunday,we’ll have more info 2 add clarity 2 situation soon,” he wrote on Twitter.

Manning’s 208 consecutive regular-season starts are the most among active players. When he officially misses Sunday’s game, Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber, who has started 179 straight games, would take over the top spot if he starts Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

Manning has been the Colts’ only starting quarterback for the last 13 years. Over that span, the Chicago Bears have started 17 different quarterbacks, the most of any NFL team. Every team other than the Colts has had at least three different starting quarterbacks during that span.

The last quarterback other than Manning to start for Indy was Jim Harbaugh, now the San Francisco 49ers coach.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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