Citing NFL sources, SI.com's Don Banks reports that Peyton Manning has undergone four surgeries on his neck over the past two seasons, not three as widely reported.
The fourth was an undisclosed procedure, per Banks, and occurred between his May 23 and September 9 surgeries. In other words, Manning had three neck operations in one offseason. Banks reports that Manning's neck may have "developed bone spurs," and Colts doctors believe he will "inevitably ... at some point require further surgery." Manning reportedly still wanted to play in 2011 and was targeting Week 16. Colts doctors quickly ruled him out after a brief workout. At the time, it is estimated that Manning had 80 percent of his usual arm strength and "his passes wobbled at times." The Colts have concern that Manning's neck problems are chronic and perhaps even genetic, as Peyton's brother Cooper was forced to give up football at a young age due to spinal stenosis.