INDIANAPOLIS — Rumors, rumors and still more rumors.
With Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning still on the mend after undergoing surgery nearly seven weeks ago to remove an infected bursa sac from his left knee, it’s natural that Internet chatter concerning his long-term availability was bound to crop up at some point.
Such was the case Thursday when former NFL team executive Mike Lombardi, writing in a blog for The National Football Post Web site, said league sources told him that Manning recently underwent a second medical procedure on his knee and that his recovery period may be much longer than what had been announced by team officials.
“I talked to several people in the NFL [Wednesday] who know things and they assure me that Peyton Manning’s knee is a huge concern for the Colts. Apparently Manning had to go through another procedure on his knee to clean things out after having his bursa sac removed last month. What is the most concerning is not the second operation [which the Colts are denying], but that they cannot control the swelling in Manning’s knee and any physical movement causes more swelling,” Lombardi wrote in his blog.
“Once he returns to the game, gets hit, has to place a load on the knee, and drive the ball, there can be swelling. All I know is that there is much more here than meets the eye. Manning has the trainer come over to his home for rehab and is rarely seen. Now, I have been with some big-time quarterbacks in my career like Joe Montana and Rich Gannon and never have they rehabbed from home. I thought this was not an issue and that Manning would be back. However, after talking to my friends in the league, it’s clear that this is a huge concern short- and long-term for the Colts.”
As to be expected, Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy downplayed Lombardi’s assertions during his daily pre-practice media briefing.
“I saw something on a blog and I think you have to go to the person who wrote that and interview him. I’ll leave it at that,” Dungy said. “I’d kind of like to go to that person myself and ask him. So if you’ll [the media] do it for me, that’ll save me a call.
“There’s always going to be [rumors]. There’s always going to be speculation. Maybe that’s good for us. It’ll keep the [Chicago] Bears guessing.”
I I I
n Dungy, Saturday remember Upshaw — The news that NFL Players Association President Gene Upshaw had died Wednesday evening was received with shock and sadness at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Complex.
Upshaw, 63, had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer Sunday. The former Oakland Raiders offensive guard, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987, died at his home in California.
“It’s really sad. I heard, actually, when I was on the way to work [Thursday] morning. It’s very surprising, obviously. Gene is a guy I played against and knew for a long time, since 1977 actually,” the Colts’ coach said.
“I thought he had done a tremendous job for the union. He was a great player and did a great job in that capacity. You hate to see that happen. It’s a very, very tough day.”
Dungy was a safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers when he played against Upshaw and the Raiders in the late 1970s.
“It was a pretty intense rivalry,” he recalled. “Gene had some epic battles with [Steelers defensive tackle] Ernie Holmes and they were fun to watch. I’m watching my position, but I certainly watched [Upshaw against Holmes] as we replayed the [game] films. It was fun and you knew that those games were going to mean something in the playoffs at the end of the year.”
Center Jeff Saturday, meanwhile, worked with Upshaw as an NFLPA team player representative and as a member of the union’s executive committee.
“It’s real sad. Gene was a great leader for us and someone I’ve gotten to know the past few years. I’m very shocked. Gene did not know [that he had pancreatic cancer]. He found out on Sunday, so his family had enough time to get out to him and he was surrounded by his family when he passed. Obviously, I feel really bad for [Upshaw’s wife] Terri and his sons. I just can’t imagine what the family is going though,” Saturday said.
“I think that any player who has touched our game in the past 20 years has been positively influenced by [Upshaw’s] leadership. Whether it be raising the minimum [salary] for rookies, whether it be for veterans, whether it be for retired players, you name it. If you continue to look back over the past 20 years, he’s done nothing but improve our game from the player’s perspective. I think everybody can sit back and honestly — some people might criticize certain things he has done — but, overall, I don’t think you could’ve asked for a better leader over the past 20 years.”
Richard Berthelsen, the NFLPA’s longtime General Counsel, was unanimously named the union’s interim executive director Thursday afternoon after a conference call with executive committee members.
n Santi still on PUP list, doing some work — Rookie tight end Tom Santi (knee) is working out on his own but is still on the team’s physically unable to perform list.
“He is actually working out and has done some things and looks like he’s close to being ready to go,” the Colts’ coach said. “We have to make a decision whether to take him off and get started or not. He’s feeling better. He’s probably in the same capacity as [safety] Bob Sanders and [defensive end] Dwight Freeney were in for a couple of weeks. They were, in their minds, ready to go and anxious to get started.”
n Freeney, Sanders might play — A decision should be forthcoming today or Saturday about whether Freeney or Sanders will take the field against Buffalo on Sunday night.
“We will see how the rest of the week goes. After [today’s] practice, if they’re ready to go,” Dungy said. “They certainly won’t play as much as the other starters, but we’ll get them a good dose.”
INDIANAPOLIS — Rumors, rumors and still more rumors.
Colts sign former Giants receiver Nicks
Ryan Grigson loves to make a deal. The Indianapolis Colts third-year general manager has earned a reputation around the National Football League as a guy who will act decisively and quickly if there’s somebody that he really wants. That trait proved true again Friday as the Colts added former New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks to the team’s roster.
Colts keep Vinatieri, Davis, Bradshaw in fold
With the NFL’s free-agency signing period getting underway at 4 p.m. Tuesday, it was fairly certain that the Indianapolis Colts would be active participants.
The Colts went into free agency with around $40 million of salary cap space in their back pocket. Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson, however, had indicated at the National Football Scouting Combine that he wanted to be judicious in how the team spent its money.
Colts re-sign punter McAfee for five years
Shortly before 10 a.m. Friday, Pat McAfee — the Indianapolis Colts’ punter and kickoff specialist — tweeted that he had a special announcement to make at the top of the hour.
Colts excited to add talent, experience of D'Qwell Jackson
With the National Football League's veteran free agency period set to start on March 11, the Indianapolis Colts front office has started to make the decisions needed to retool for the 2014 season.
Former Cleveland Browns inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, who had been released by Cleveland on Feb. 26, signed a reported four-year, $22 million deal with Indianapolis on Thursday. Only the first two years of the contract are guaranteed.
Jackson (6-foot, 240) started 96-of-97 games over the past eight seasons with the Browns since being selected by the team in the second round of the 2006 draft. He played collegiately at Maryland.
EIU’s Garoppolo hopes to impress scouts
Let the Eastern Illinois University quarterback tradition continue.
Mike Shanahan, Jeff Christensen, Sean Payton, Tony Romo and, now, Jimmy Garoppolo. All were record-setting quarterbacks on the Division II and FCS levels.
Grigson says Colts likely not to make big splash in free agency
Don’t expect the Indianapolis Colts to go wild in the upcoming free-agent market.
While the Colts will have anywhere from $33 to $37 million to spend this offseason, Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson says the franchise will be a bit more selective when it comes to signing any prospective veteran free agents.
SEASON IN REVIEW: Colts make progress in 2013 season
The Indianapolis Colts made plenty of progress over the course of the 2013 season.
And the Colts fought through some adversity as injuries hit the team hard at several positions, most notably at wide receiver (Reggie Wayne), tight end (Dwayne Allen), running back (Vick Ballard, Ahmad Bradshaw), offensive line (Donald Thomas) and cornerback (Greg Toler).
Moving on: Coach likes what he sees, gets ready for phase three of Colts’ development
Time to move on. In the wake of the Indianapolis Colts’ 43-22 AFC divisional playoff loss at New England last Saturday night, head coach Chuck Pagano is ready to take time off and then start getting after it again late this spring.
Blunt force trauma: Patriots running game too much for Colts
LeGarrette Blount ran the New England Patriots into their third straight AFC championship game.
The 250-pound back had four touchdown runs and New England kept Andrew Luck from a second straight comeback win to beat the Indianapolis Colts 43-22 Sunday night.
‘Still the same Tom’
How do you attempt to stop, or even slow down, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady?
Belichick impressed with Luck's skills, poise under pressure
Bill Belichick doesn’t have to be reminded about the talents of Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck.
Although Belichick’s New England Patriots handed the Colts a 59-24 loss in Foxboro last year, he came away from the game with plenty of respect for the young signal caller.
Colts, Patriots, both with many new faces, to meet in playoffs for fourth time
Here we go again. Yet another Indianapolis Colts-New England Patriots playoff game.
Up next for Colts: Brady, Patriots
Hello Tom Brady.
Thanks to the San Diego Chargers’ 27-10 AFC wild-card playoff win over Cincinnati on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, the Indianapolis Colts will be traveling to Foxboro, Massachusetts to face Brady’s New England Patriots Saturday (8:15 p.m.).
Luck leads huge rally as Colts grab first playoff win for Pagano
What a game.
Just when it looked like the Indianapolis Colts were going to be blown out at home in an AFC wild-card playoff game by the Kansas City Chiefs, the impossible happened.
Colts sell out today's Kansas City game
There will be no local television blackouts in the NFL this weekend.
The Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers said Friday that their weekend wild-card playoff games are sellouts. Normally, teams must sell out 72 hours before kickoff to have a game broadcast in their local market. The NFL gave the Colts, Bengals and Packers an extra day to do it.
The Colts host Kansas City today. On Sunday, the Packers host San Francisco and the Bengals host San Diego.
NFL honors Colts' Mathis with Deacon Jones Award
Robert Mathis never got to see Deacon Jones take down opposing quarterbacks in person.
He learned to appreciate Jones’ creativity over time.
The Colts Pro Bowl linebacker and newly crowned sacks champion was honored Thursday as the inaugural winner of the NFL’s Deacon Jones Award, which goes to the league’s sacks leader. Mathis will be recognized at the NFL award banquet Feb. 1.
Victory over Chiefs means nil, Mathis says
Robert Mathis doesn’t care that the Indianapolis Colts registered a 23-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium two weeks ago.
Record-setting Indy win
Finish the National Football League regular season strong. That’s what the Indianapolis Colts wanted to accomplish Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
In major gain, Colts lead NFL in fewest turnovers
Play clean. That’s been a credo that the Indianapolis Colts have tried to live by this season.
Has Luck's growth been accelerated by Colts' adversity? Probably
Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck is quickly becoming known as a guy who can quickly adjust to any situation.
Toeing the line: Colts’ offensive line getting healthy, finding niche as playoffs near
The Indianapolis Colts’ offensive line has certainly taken its share of hits this season, both on and off the field.
Colts’ chief strength: No panic
The Indianapolis Colts had watched the Kansas City Chiefs march downfield for an easy score on the first series of the game, yet nobody on their sideline seemed to be worried.
In fact, it seemed as if their confidence soared.
Luck has knack for knowing when to run
To run or not to run. When it comes to Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck, his competitive nature usually comes into play.
Loss at Chiefs could cost Colts bye in playoffs
Chuck Pagano doesn’t have to make his Indianapolis Colts players aware of the playoff implications surrounding the team’s road game at Kansas City on Sunday.
Back in the mix: Colts are hoping to improve their playoff seeding in final two weeks of NFL’s regular season
Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano stresses that he is not a scoreboard watcher when it comes to other National Football League games.
Back in stride: Colts finally put points on board early, roll to ninth victory of season
It had been a long time in coming, a National Football League game in which the Indianapolis Colts had a comfortable lead well into the second half.
Whalen, Richardson make waves on offense
It’s not too hard to figure out who the offensive and defensive players of the game were in the Indianapolis Colts’ 25-3 win over Houston Sunday.
Mathis, Colts hoping to gain defensive momentum against Texans
Outside linebacker Robert Mathis, one of the Indianapolis Colts two most vested veterans, has taken it upon himself to make sure his team is ready for Sunday’s AFC South matchup with Houston (1 p.m., CBS Sports).
Mathis and injured wide receiver Reggie Wayne have been with the Colts the longest. They, along with defensive end Cory Redding and safety Antoine Bethea, have become important voices in the Indianapolis locker room.
Colts not apologizing for way they won division title
Backing into the AFC South title? The Indianapolis Colts are not apologizing to anyone for claiming the franchise’s eighth division crown since the start of the 2002 season.
Bungles — including refs’ — benefit Bengals
Give the Cincinnati Bengals plenty of credit. In a game that pitted two of the AFC’s better teams and two of the National Football League’s best young quarterbacks, the home-standing Bengals took care of business.
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