FOXBORO, Mass. — There's a reason why the Colts haven't placed quarterback Peyton Manning on injured reserve: He's working toward the possibility of returning to the field this season.
Peyton's brother, Eli Manning, said as much Wednesday when asked if Peyton wanted to get back in uniform in 2011.
"Yeah, I think that's his goal is to get healthy, certainly to get well enough to come back and play," Eli said. "I don't know what the circumstances are. He hasn't mentioned anything on that, but I think that's anyone's objective when they're injured — to make sure you're doing everything you can to make sure you're about to get back 100 percent."
The Colts are an NFL-worst 0-8, and their streak of nine consecutive playoff appearances will come to an end without the miracle of all miracles. Because of that, there seems to be little to gain by putting Peyton Manning back on the field when they could instead give him extra time to fully heal from neck surgery.
Yet, there's already discussion of drafting Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck if the Colts get the No. 1 pick in the draft. If that happens, there's further speculation that Manning could be traded.
There are a lot of ifs with the storyline, which has probably made it tougher on Manning to deal with. That's why, as Eli said, he's focusing his efforts on getting back to full health.
"I think his mindset is just trying to get back healthy and trying to rehab and stay positive and keep all his energy on trying to get healthy as soon as possible," Eli said.