BREAKING: Peyton Manning Reportedly Needs a 5th Neck Procedure

According to Don Banks of Sports Illustrated, Peyton Manning has actually had 4 neck procedures, not 3, with the unknown procedure coming sometime before his September surgery last year but after his May one. 

While it cannot be determined exactly when the unreported procedure on Manning’s neck took place, it was at some point after his May 23 surgery in Chicago to correct a bulging disk, and before his Sept. 9 one-level cervical neck fusion surgery in Marina Del Rey, Calif. The same doctor who operated on Manning’s bulging disk in May did a follow-up procedure last summer in Chicago, as a result of the original surgery. Both of those operations came while the NFL and its players were still engaged in their protracted labor fight, with clubs having very limited medical contact with injured players. At the time of Manning’s September neck operation, that surgery was reported to be his third neck procedure in 19 months. In reality, it was his fourth.

The huge news, however, is that Banks said that the Colts believe he will need another one:

In addition, league sources say Manning’s neck has potentially developed bone spurs just above the point where his latest fusion surgery took place in early September, and the Colts organization is under the belief that it is nearly inevitable Manning will at some point require further surgery, and possibly another fusion procedure, even if he does successfully return to the field in 2012. It’s unclear how any potential long-term neck issues will impact Manning’s decision to attempt a resumption of his NFL playing career later this year.

If Peyton really does need another neck surgery, especially if he needs another fusion, his career is done.  This is another twist in the drama, but it is a big one if true. 

Banks also mentions that Manning was very close to playing in weeks 16 and 17 in red zone situations, participating in a scripted 30-play practice before week 15.

Sources who were on hand for the practice say that while Manning was accurate with his passes, he threw nothing longer than 20-22 yards, and his passes wobbled at times, with perhaps 80 percent of his usual velocity. Manning also seemed to be visibly fatigued at times during the workout, sources said, which further convinced Caldwell and others that it would be unwise to risk further injury to their franchise quarterback with a cameo appearance against Houston or Jacksonville.

Follow me on twitter for the very latest.  For now, this is only a report, nothing official.  But Don Banks is citing league sources and is normally trustworthy. 

If Manning really does need another fusion, his brilliant career is over.

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About Josh Wilson
Follow Josh on twitter @jwilsonWL, on Facebook at the Operation: Freedom page, or you can reach him by email at operation.freedom@yahoo.com.

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