Friday, August 26, 2011

Peyton Manning To Come Off The PUP List, But Not Because He Is Ready To Play

Hopefully, NFL fans won't read into the news tonight of how Peyton Manning is going to be removed from the PUP (Physically Unable To Play) list soon.

It's NOT because he's ready to play.  Rather, it's because if he doesn't come off the list before the September 3 deadline, he is ineligible to play for the first six weeks.

There is absolutely no way that the Colts would announce to the world that Manning can't play til Week 7 at this time, even if they thought that to be true.  It's pure NFL strategery (love that word).

I've written before about Manning's injury, and how the delay in his recovery is most likely due to weakness in his throwing arm from slowly regenerating nerves.

Photo: Andy Lyons, Getty Images
However, if by some crazy chance that the Colts do leave Manning on the PUP list, it doesn't necessarily mean the end of the season for them.  By my estimation, the Colts' schedule is somewhat favorable in the first seven weeks.  They play @Houston, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, @Tampa Bay, Kansas City, and @Cincinnati in the first six weeks of the season.

Now, call me crazy, but I think the Colts could still win four of those games (expected losses are Pittsburgh and Houston).  If Manning is able to come back in Week 7, that would be right when the Colts schedule toughens.  Week 7 is against New Orleans, week 9 against Atlanta, followed by back to back away games in weeks 13 and 14 against New England and Baltimore.

Don't fret, Colts fans. The season hasn't begun, Manning hasn't been ruled out of anything, and the early favorable schedule allows the Colts to take their time bringing him back in time for the Colts to make the playoffs (again).

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