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Eli Manning thinks Peyton will play

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Eli Manning isn't sure if Peyton Manning will return this season but he believes his big brother will resume his future Hall of Fame career.

"I hope so," the Giants quarterback said on Wednesday when asked if he thinks Peyton will play again. "Yeah, I think so, yes."

Peyton has been recovering from neck surgery he had on Sept. 8, the third procedure he has undergone in 19 months on his neck.

The Colts quarterback hopes to return this season, although Indianapolis is already 0-7 without him.

"I don't know, I don't have an idea on that," Eli said when asked if Peyton will play this year. "I just know that he is trying to get healthy as quickly as possible."

With Peyton sidelined, Eli now holds the longest current active starting streak by an NFL quarterback with 109 consecutive starts since 2004. Peyton is second all-time behind Brett Favre with 208 consecutive starts.

Eli has now watched both of his brothers undergo surgeries on their neck or spine. Cooper Manning, the oldest brother, had his football career end his freshman year prior to ever playing a down at Ole Miss due to spinal stenosis, a congenital narrowing of the spinal canal. Cooper, a former wide receiver, had to undergo a spinal surgery.

Eli and Peyton both have been checked medically for any genetic condition after Cooper's injury.

"When Cooper had his operation and everything going on, Peyton and I, we all got kind of checked to see if we had similar alignment and similar neck problems and neither of us had it," Eli said. "It can be genetic and can run down in the family. Obviously we didn't have it. Being a quarterback, you take some hits, you take funny hits and stuff can happen."

Eli said Peyton's injury is not related to the condition that ended Cooper's football career.

All Peyton can do is continue to work and rehab, something Eli says his brother is doing diligently.

After seeing what his brothers have gone through, Eli understands how football can be taken away at any point.

"You are constantly reminded how precious this time is and playing football and this opportunity and knowing that you never know when it is your last play of the season or last play of a career," Eli said. "You always want to go out and give it your fullest in your preparation all week and remember that on Sundays, that is a fun time, a time that you get to celebrate touchdowns and have fun playing the game."

Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com.