Peyton Manning casts large shadow over Super Bowl

On Tuesday, Manning piped in.

Shortly after the NFL’s annual Super Bowl media day event ended, Peyton Manning met with a small group of reporters with the idea of turning the attention back to Sunday’s game.

That didn’t work too well, either.

“I’m working hard, I had a really good session today,” Manning said after repeatedly being asked about his rehab. “I continue to make progress and work hard. The doctors are encouraged and that’s encouraging to me.”

The four-time league MVP hasn’t played in more than a year because of a damaged nerve that caused weakness in his throwing arm. He had neck surgery in May, then underwent his third and most invasive neck surgery in 19 months in September. Doctors fused two vertebrae together, a procedure that forced him to miss the Colts two-win season.

Since then, there has been rampant speculation about his recovery, the potential risks of a return, whether the Colts will pay Manning a $28 million roster bonus in early March to prevent him from becoming a free agent or whether the soon-to-be 36-year-old might retire.

“My plan hasn’t changed,” Manning said. “I’m on track with what the doctors have told me to do, and I’m doing that. I’m rehabbing hard.”

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