Updated 3:45 p.m. ET, Thursday, Sept. 8
The Colts announced that QB Peyton Manning underwent surgery Thursday morning, the third neck surgery he has had in the past 19 months.
Manning returned to practice last week but then doctors shut him down after he experienced back soreness this past weekend. He was ruled out for the season opener against the Texans. Owner Jim Irsay refuted claims that Manning had surgery on Sunday, but tweeted that Manning would be "out for awhile" on Thursday morning.
Irsay and the team released a statement on Thursday afternoon about their franchise quarterback:
"As previously stated on Monday, Sept. 5th, Peyton Manning has undergone further testing and consultation with several specialists regarding his rehabilitation. The results of these tests and the consensus of the consultations was that further surgery was warranted. Peyton has undergone this surgery today by having a single level anterior fusion. The surgery was uneventful.
"This procedure is performed regularly throughout the country on persons from all walks of life, including professional football players. Two former Colts players had this same procedure last winter and have fully resumed their careers. Rehabilitation from such surgery is typically an involved process. Therefore, there will be no estimation of a return date at this time. We will keep Peyton on the active roster until we have a clearer picture of his recovery process.
"Peyton will immediately begin the rehabilitation regimen mapped out by the surgeon. We anticipate no further updates or availabilities beyond those required by the NFL Media Policy for the immediate future."
NFL Network's Michael Lombardi reported that Manning traveled around the country looking for solutions and the latest recommendation resulted in Thursday's surgery.
Kerry Collins will start for the Colts in Week One. He will be the first starting quarterback other than Manning for the Colts since 1997.
The way we see it
The door is officially open in the AFC South for another division champion, as the Colts have dominated the division with Manning at the helm.
The Colts held off on putting Bob Sanders on I.R. for more than three-quarters of the season in 2010, so it's not automatic that they will place Manning on injured reserve anytime soon. This is obviously a devastating blow to the Colts, a team that had as a goal to win the Super Bowl in its home stadium next February. Collins is the best option for now, however, and we're going to find out what he — and head coach Jim Caldwell — are made of.
In addition to the pressure on Collins, Caldwell and the O-line, which has at least three new starters for Week One, a lifeless running game will be tested big time.