Irsay: Peyton Manning unlikely for '11

Updated: December 8, 2011, 3:05 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay told local reporters Thursday that he doesn't believe Peyton Manning will play in a game before the end of the regular season.

When asked if there was any hope that Manning would return this season, Irsay said, "I really don't see that."

"I think with the timeframe we have left, I think it's something where it will go into the offseason," Irsay told reporters.

On Sept. 8, the four-time league MVP had a spinal fusion, his third neck surgery in 19 months. Last week, doctors gave Manning the OK to increase the pace and intensity of his rehabilitation regiment .Team officials have not yet explained what Manning will do, though he was seen standing next to coach Jim Caldwell when Wednesday's practice began.

Caldwell said he did not expect Manning to participate in team workouts this week and that he wasn't sure if that would happen before the season ends.

The Colts have kept Manning on the active roster all season in hopes he could start throwing before the Jan. 1 finale at Jacksonville. Colts vice chairman Bill Polian, general manager Chris Polian and Irsay also must decide whether to exercise a $28 million option or let Manning become a free agent.

Then there's the question of what the Colts, currently 0-12 without Manning, will do if they hold the No. 1 overall pick in next April's draft.

Peyton's father, Archie, caused a stir earlier this week when he told Fox Sports Radio that he didn't think it was a good plan for the Colts to have his son and likely top overall pick Andrew Luck on the same roster as both quarterbacks would want to play.

He backtracked on that stance Wednesday, however, telling The Associated Press that he now thinks the two can co-exist on the same roster.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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