Steelers, Browns, Bengals dodge Manning

September, 9, 2011
9/09/11
8:30
AM ET
Most of the AFC North can breathe a sigh of relief. Indianapolis Colts quarterback and future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning will not be available to carve up the defenses of the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers this season.

Manning had additional neck surgery and will be out for an undisclosed amount of time. He's expected to miss games against the Browns (Sept. 18), Steelers (Sept. 25) and Bengals (Oct. 16).

Although no one wants players to suffer injuries, most of the division caught a break. The Browns and Bengals had very little chance of beating the Colts with Manning. Now, it's a competitive contest. The Steelers should be sizable favorites against Indianapolis.

The Ravens may have the short end of the stick. The Colts play the Baltimore Ravens on December 11 and Manning has a better chance of playing in that game. Manning has been one of Baltimore's biggest nemeses over the years.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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