On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

Well, it's official, folks. Peyton Manning is going to stop practicing due to slow recovery from his neck injury. He started experiencing extreme back pain this weekend; I don't know if that's because of the nerves or because of a cascade from altering his throwing motion because of the nerve recovery. He's listed as doubtful for this week's game.

This gives me the perfect opening to share with you some startling numbers that Danny Tuccitto discovered while putting together the AGL article we ran last week. As you may know, the AGL numbers are based on the likelihood that a player listed on the injury report with a certain designation will actually play. But the number of players listed as doubtful who have actually played has been steadily decreasing since 2002, to the point where last year no starter who was listed as doubtful on the final injury report of the week actually played in the game.

Year Starters Doubtful % Played Reserves Doubtful % Played
2002 134 15.7% 159 10.1%
2003 162 16.7% 169 6.5%
2004 154 13.6% 161 6.8%
2005 107 9.3% 126 4.8%
2006 116 7.8% 118 5.9%
2007 126 3.2% 130 1.5%
2008 151 4.0% 178 2.2%
2009 141 4.3% 146 2.7%
2010 113 0.0% 128 2.3%

Danny and I will be looking at the implications of this as we look to improve our injury analysis over the next few months. But the short-term implication is that Peyton Manning is not playing Sunday. Another stat to back that up: Since 2004, the Colts have not had a single player who was listed as doubtful on the injury report and ended up actually playing.


38 comments, Last at 07 Sep 2011, 3:18pm

#1 by Sergio // Sep 05, 2011 - 12:12pm

Any info on Collins' fantasy prospects?

-- Go Phins!

Points: 0

#2 by Kulko // Sep 05, 2011 - 1:13pm

The question is, based on what projection can anybody guess, how the colts play without nmanning?

Points: 0

#5 by Sisyphus // Sep 05, 2011 - 2:18pm

Mostly it will be a constant struggle. The whole style of the offense is tuned to Manning's timing which is not going to be duplicated by any back up. Both the playbook and the personnel are more or less customized to that. Kind of like replacing the engine in a Porsche with an aged gerbil on treadmill; performance is going to suffer and you won't get the most out of what you have. Manning has semi-hidden flaws in that offensive line for years just for starters and defenses have always played very cautiously against him because he reads so well. They will make occasional plays but unless they can pull a running game out of their hat they are going to lack consistency. Putting the small defense on the field more is not going to help either though the defense is somewhat improved over last season. Basically they were a 10-12 win team this season with Manning and a 4-6 win team without him. They will get somewhat better as the season progresses but initially the adjustment is going to be brutal.

Points: 0

#11 by Nathan // Sep 05, 2011 - 6:22pm

Not to mention the fact that the defense is built to play with the lead and let Mathis and Freeney have free reign rushing the passer.

Points: 0

#27 by jtrum // Sep 06, 2011 - 11:52am

Colts may have been an 8-8 team this year WITH Manning. They were not very good last year, won a secretly terrible division, and did little in the offseason or draft to correct that. Without Manning, they could seriously be the worst team in football.

Points: 0

#30 by Cookie Monster (not verified) // Sep 06, 2011 - 1:18pm

Worst team in football? Let me introduce you to my friends, the Titans. They won't even be the worst team in that no-longer-secretly bad division.

Points: 0

#32 by Purds // Sep 06, 2011 - 1:58pm

The Colts weren't that horrible last year. They lost to the Jets on a last-minute drive in the playoffs, the Jets who then spanked the mighty 14-2 Patriots the next week. Now, did they win the SB? No. But, they weren't as bad as you make it seem.

Points: 0

#37 by Mr Shush // Sep 07, 2011 - 5:56am

Their 2010 regular season DVOA was 3.0% with Manning in the team (actually slightly lower than the Titans at 7.7% and the Texans at 3.7%). If the 2010 Colts were a "moral" 8-8 team that got a few breaks, is it really so unreasonable to think the 2011 version might go 8-8? Or that if you took an all-world quarterback off an 8-8 team the result might be an absolutely terrible team?

Points: 0

#3 by Neoplatonist B… (not verified) // Sep 05, 2011 - 1:17pm

It looks like there was a big shift in 2007. Why might this be?

Points: 0

#4 by Andrew Potter // Sep 05, 2011 - 1:27pm

Was that the year the League modified the injury report?

Points: 0

#6 by PatsFan // Sep 05, 2011 - 2:29pm

If he really can't function, does he stay out out, or do the Colts put him in for the first offensive play to hand the ball off and thereby keep his streak alive?

Points: 0

#8 by Purds // Sep 05, 2011 - 2:32pm

Manning has said repeatedly that he won't do that. If he can't play the whole game, he won't play any of it.

Points: 0

#7 by Aaron Schatz // Sep 05, 2011 - 2:30pm

Just to clarify for the people who have asked: Brett Favre did play in Week 15 when he was listed as "out," not "doubtful."

Points: 0

#10 by Marko // Sep 05, 2011 - 3:47pm

And then he was knocked out of that game in what hopefully was the last game of his career. If so, what an odd way to end his career: Injured on the frozen turf at TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota after the Metrodome collapsed.

Points: 0

#9 by Zheng // Sep 05, 2011 - 3:21pm

Of the doubtful players who did play, what percentage of them were effective? I'd like to see the numbers for 'questionable' as well.

Points: 0

#12 by Bryan and Vinny Show (not verified) // Sep 05, 2011 - 6:44pm

The headline of this article reads like the title of a poem, circa 1958. I can just picture John Madden reciting it to an enthralled crowd during a poetry slam.
Am I the only one who finds the 'captcha's almost impossible to read anymore? I'm mostly just guessing when I type it in.

Points: 0

#13 by Theo // Sep 05, 2011 - 8:14pm

On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

He knows they are his brothers in arms
who do not spill his lucky charms
golden rainbows he spreads around
like clockwork on the clear green ground
not only for a pretty penny
the battle for rings they chased so many
his brothers now stick out his neck
left him saying "I'll be back"

Points: 0

#26 by ktismael23@gmail.com (not verified) // Sep 06, 2011 - 11:47am

No, no, he said 1958.

On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

Constantly risking absurdity,
he stands,
pointing and yelling and waggling
his arms,
but safe now,
for once,
the five in front more than enough
for the three that rush in,
and just to be safe
one more stands by his side,
a brother of the backfield,
he calls
for the ball.
"Hut hut" and it collapses,
his pocket,
his play,
his confidence,
sliding on his back.
"God Dammit, Donald."

Points: 0

#14 by Scott P. (not verified) // Sep 05, 2011 - 8:57pm

I've suspected for months that the captchas don't actually do anything (I think getting one in Mandarin was the trigger). But I don't have the time to waste checking to see if they actually work or not.

Points: 0

#15 by Thomas_beardown // Sep 05, 2011 - 9:15pm

You have to get one word right, you write literally anything for the other one.

Points: 0

#34 by John (not verified) // Sep 06, 2011 - 9:31pm

Apparently not always. First time I tried your technique, I was successful, but the second time I had one word that I'm absolutely confident was right, so I tanked the other, and FO rejected it.

Points: 0

#35 by Thomas_beardown // Sep 06, 2011 - 10:44pm

It has to be the right word. One of them they know what it is, and are checking to make sure you type it in right. The other one they are using the system to try and digitize books.

There are ways to tell which one is which, but I don't feel like getting into it. Course, you can just verify and not have to worry about any captcha.

Points: 0

#38 by Theo // Sep 07, 2011 - 3:18pm

Scot P. paradoxically doesn't have time for a time saver like that.

Points: 0

#18 by theslothook // Sep 05, 2011 - 11:15pm

Question is...are the colts the WORST TEAM IN FOOTBALL WITHOUT MANNING?

Points: 0

#29 by Jacob (not verified) // Sep 06, 2011 - 1:06pm

Manning misses the season, Colts get the #1 pick and draft Andrew Luck?

That hypothetical scenario reminds me of when the Spurs had a slew of injuries and wound up with Tim Duncan to show for it.

And I'm pretty sure that some of the captcha's are using some fake characters, at this point.

Points: 0

#19 by sswoods (not verified) // Sep 06, 2011 - 2:45am

I saw this story once before. It ends with a loudmouthed overrated gunslinger upsetting the heavily favored, backup led Colts in the Super Bowl. So, that means ... ... ... Jay Cutler leads the Bears to a league championship?

Points: 0

#33 by BaronFoobarstein // Sep 06, 2011 - 6:57pm

If one can sling one's legs in a gunnery fashion, then Eagles over Colts.

Points: 0

#20 by sswoods (not verified) // Sep 06, 2011 - 2:48am

(By the way, I actually like Cutler, and think he's underrated. But no other NFC QB comes close to the rather stretched analogy, and he is a gunslinger, so I ran with it.)

Points: 0

#24 by Eddo // Sep 06, 2011 - 10:21am

On the field, the Cutler analogy holds pretty well. Off the field, Cutler's not really a loudmouth. In fact, he often won't give the media any soundbytes, which is why he's generally unliked by that group.

But yeah, that is probably the most apt comparison to Namath.

Points: 0

#21 by Podge (not verified) // Sep 06, 2011 - 4:53am

Any chance of letting us know how Manning being replaced by Kerry Collins for the season would effect the Colts' projection?

Points: 0

#22 by Mr Shush // Sep 06, 2011 - 6:30am

I'm torn. On the one hand, I actually really like Manning, wish him well personally, and would rather see the Texans beat the Colts at full strength than some shadow of the real thing.

On the other hand, I am desperate, desperate to see the Texans make the playoffs, even if it's at 9-7 in a crappy division.

Here's hoping the Texans are somehow miraculously so good it doesn't matter, and that Manning gets healthy soon.

Points: 0

#28 by Yaguar // Sep 06, 2011 - 12:36pm

With any sort of non-awful defense, Houston goes 11-5.

Unfortunately, "non-awful defense" is a ridiculous assumption when you're talking about the Texans.

Points: 0

#36 by Mr Shush // Sep 07, 2011 - 5:34am

Don't I know it. After pre-season, I'm cautiously optimistic. But we've been down this road before - caution is definitely the operative word.

Points: 0

#25 by jared (not verified) // Sep 06, 2011 - 10:56am

Dear Mr. Aaron Schatz,

Your information is incorrect. Brett Favre was listed as Doubtful for the outdoor home game vs Chicago last season, that he inevitably ended up starting in and getting knocked out of.

Points: 0

#31 by Andrew Potter // Sep 06, 2011 - 1:22pm

Dear jared,

Your information appears to be less correct than that of Mr. Schatz. Technically, he was listed as out until the day of the game then upgraded to questionable that morning.


Etc, etc, etc.

Points: 0

Save 10%
& Support Aaron
Support Football Outsiders' independent media and Aaron Schatz. Use promo code SCHATZ to save 10% on any FO+ membership and give half the cost of your membership to tip Aaron.