Colts: Only medical staff can watch Manning before March 8

Colts QB Peyton Manning isn't allowed to throw for team officials until April. (Ben Liebenberg/NFL)

INDIANAPOLIS — Colts center Jeff Saturday was emphatic Saturday during NFL Network’s combine coverage that if the team really wants Peyton Manning, it should call the quarterback and schedule a throwing session to check his health.

The problem, the Colts told NFL Network’s Albert Breer, is that no team officials outside of medical personnel can watch Manning throw until April because of rules in the new collective bargaining agreement. Since Manning failed his exit physical after neck surgery, only trainers are permitted to observe him and can report back, but by rule can’t tape any workouts.

So owner Jim Irsay, general manager Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano won’t have a firsthand look at how Manning is performing before March 8, the deadline for the team to decide whether or not to pay him a $28 million roster bonus.

Saturday also said on NFL Network that Manning “absolutely” would play next season, adding, “I hope it’s here (in Indianapolis), but he’ll be playing somewhere.”

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