On the grand scale, the face and foundation of the Indianapolis Colts isn't able to provide the prognosis everyone desires.
Quarterback Peyton Manning remains on the active roster despite undergoing neck surgery Sept. 8, his third procedure in 19 months, but is unable to speculate on when he might return to the field.
"I do hope to get healthy, and when I'm healthy and cleared to play, I want to be out there," Manning said Friday. "But I'm off the clock as far as that goes. I'm just trying to follow the doctors' orders and get healthy."
While Manning spent a portion of each day this week walking laps around the practice field, he isn't walking aimlessly.
Behind the scenes, he provided input to the game plan for Sunday night's meeting with Pittsburgh at Lucas Oil Stadium. Specifically, he worked with offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen and quarterback Kerry Collins on how to deal with the Steelers' blitz-crazy 3-4 defense.
Gradually, his physicians will allow him to do more and more, certainly more than logging laps at the team complex while his teammates practice. Until then, Manning will try to offer something, anything.
At this point, Manning isn't worth a roster spot on the off chance he might come back before the season is over.