ESPN is reporting that doctors have cleared Peyton Manning to resume his NFL career.
While on the surface this would appear to be good news, reading the quotes, however, paints a different picture. Here is the sentence that everyone should pay close attention to:
The sources said Watkins examined Manning recently in Los Angeles and concluded the stability in his neck would have allowed the quarterback to play this Sunday if the nerves in his arm had regenerated to a satisfactory performance level.
So what did we learn? Unfortunately, nothing new. That Manning’s spine and neck have healed and are stable is great news, but the important factor, with regards to his comeback, is the part regarding his nerve regeneration: “if the nerves in his arm had regenerated to a satisfactory performance level.”
In other words, Manning’s nerves haven’t regenerated enough for him to perform on the football field. While the fact that Manning’s nerves haven’t completely regenerated 5 months into a possible 12-month recovery is not all that alarming or surprising, there is no guarantee that they will completely regenerate over the next seven months, and none of the quotes in this article or in recent “leaked” news have made any indication that there has been promising nerve regeneration.
We all hope that Manning is able to completely heal and resume his NFL career – preferably in a Colts uniform – but today’s news does nothing to make that scenario seem closer to reality.