Peyton Manning was on my “do not touch” list this preseason, but it had nothing to do with his neck surgery. That was supposed to be a non-factor, especially after the Colts handed him a 5-year, $90 million contract about a month ago. The Colts aren’t dumb — this neck injury has clearly caught them off guard.
Peyton was on my “do not touch” list because he’s 35, his offensive line is a major concern and his top receiver, Reggie Wayne, is losing a step. There are also just so many other quarterbacks that owners wouldn’t have had to pay as much for.
Now, Manning is in big trouble because of his neck. He’s almost certainly out for Week 1 and I suspect he’s going to miss a lot more time that than. He’s been pulled out of practice, his velocity is down, and doctors don’t know why he’s taking so long to recover.
If you haven’t drafted yet, don’t take Manning. Don’t take Wayne, Austin Collie, Dallas Clark or Pierre Garcon either. Kerry Collins can’t get them ball and the Colts will change their offense. If you have drafted already and don’t have a viable backup, consider Collins a desperation QB2. I also like Cam Newton as a sleeper pickup off the waiver wire thanks to his legs.