Manning hopes Colts regulars continue to play

So, does Peyton Manning want to play in the final two games of the season as his undefeated Colts stare down a perfect 16-0 regular-season record?

In one word, yes.

NFL Network’s Scott Hanson caught up with Manning moments after a 35-31 comeback win Thursday night, asking whether Colts players will lobby coach Jim Caldwell for the chance to play against the Jets and Bills, although the team has already secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

“We’re not going to lobby, because that’s not what a football team is about,” Manning said. “The head coach tells us what to do, and we follow his orders. Certainly players have their hopes and wishes, but it’s not set up that way. Caldwell makes the call, and we follow, so we’ll see what happens. But the idea is to keep working on some things. Personally, I hope we still play.”

Caldwell took the position of playing only his “healthy” starters against the Jaguars, limiting the snaps for players such as Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. Needless to say, with the chance at a perfect season still alive, it will be interesting which direction Caldwell — the team’s rookie coach who was a longtime assistant of Tony Dungy — goes with his starters over those last two games.

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