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Ready ... or not

I am not Curtis Painter, nor have I ever played him on TV. But if I were, I'd be hitting the playbook extra hard the next couple of weeks.

That's because Peyton Manning apparently isn't as far along with his recovery from neck surgery as we'd been led to believe.

Colts owner Jim Irsay's tweet that Manning might not be ready for the season opener set off a wave of hanky-clutching in the Circle City, but to those keeping their ear to the ground around the Horsies that's been old news for awhile.

When I was at the Brickyard 400 a month ago, a (shall we say) substantially plugged-in member of the Indy media said Manning's condition was a lot worse than the club's public statements were letting on. In fact, this substantially plugged-in media type demonstrated just how much range of motion Peyton actually had in his neck. It wasn't much.

Sooo ... haul out the pins-and-needles. Because I wouldn't be at all surprised if Peyton not only misses Game 1, but has issues with the neck all season. We shall see.

Ben Smith's blog.