Remember when some people thought the Pats should trade Brady? Ha! That was funny.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady congratulates Wes Welker after scoring a touchdown during 2nd half action, between the Miami Dolphins, and the New England Patriots September 12, 2011 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida.The New England Patriots beat the Miami Dolphins 38-24.. .. UPI Photo/Susan Knowles

Hey, I’m guilty of it. We’re all guilty of it. We see a player get seriously injured and one of the first statements out of someone’s mouth is, “This may be career-threatening.”

The latest example of this is Peyton Manning. He recently had his second neck surgery in less than five months and at least one clown in the media wrote last week about how the Colts may wind up with Andrew Luck in next year’s draft. We live in a world where present news is old news and everyone has a blog nowadays so getting a jump on a story often takes precedence. But the media (and fans too, because they’re just as guilty even though the media provides a nice patsy for them) could learn a thing or two about Manning’s situation from Tom Brady.

As I watched Brady carve up the Dolphins for 517 yards and four touchdowns on Monday night, I had to laugh thinking about Matt Cassel’s 2008 season. He was so good that year that some wondered if the Pats should trade Brady and go with the younger Cassel at quarterback.

The idea wasn’t that far-fetched either. At the time, there was no timetable set for Brady’s return after he had season-ending knee surgery earlier in the year. Nobody knew when he would return in ’09, or if he would return at all. Cassel was also set to become a free agent, which further complicated the situation. If the Pats traded him or allowed him to leave via free agency, they risked not having an experienced quarterback for 2009 if Brady couldn’t recover.

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Could Manning’s injury open the door for the Colts to take Luck next year?

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck celebrates his third quarter touchdown pass to receiver Coby Fleener during play against Virginia Tech in the 2011 Discover Orange Bowl NCAA football game in Miami January 3, 2011. REUTERS/Hans Deryk (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

In 1997, David Robinson suffered a broken foot in preseason and wind up missing the entire regular season for the San Antonio Spurs, who were devastated by the injury. But Robinson’s misfortunate actually turned out to be a massive blessing in disguise for he and the Spurs.

San Antonio was so bad that season that they wound up having the No. 1 pick in the 1997 NBA Draft, allowing them to select Tim Duncan out of Wake Forest. Four championships, two MVP awards, and 13 All-Star selections later and Duncan is viewed as one of the greatest players to have ever donned a NBA uniform.

And none of it would have happened had Robinson not broke his foot that year, which is a little morbid when you think about it but hey, it worked out for everyone in the end. (Robinson won two titles playing alongside Duncan.)

If the Indianapolis Colts wind up having a wretched season due to Peyton Manning’s neck injury, they may find themselves in a somewhat similar situation. Granted, it’s too early to tell how long Manning will be sidelined after having his second neck surgery in less than four months. Maybe he’ll return halfway through the season and lead the Colts to the playoffs once again. Or maybe he’ll be out all season and will return next year at full strength.

Or maybe he’ll never play again.

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2011 NFL Week 1 Odds

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws a pass under pressure against the Indianapolis Colts during the first quarter of their NFL football game in Indianapolis August 26, 2011. REUTERS/Brent Smith (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Oddsmakers have released the point spreads for Week 1 in the NFL. Along with a complete list of odds, here are a couple of games that jump out at me as we head into the opening week in the NFL.

Saints @ Packers, 8:30PM ET, Thursday
The action gets kicked off this season with a matchup between the 2010 Super Bowl champion Packers and the 2009 Super Bowl champion Saints. I envision a rebound year for Drew Brees and the Saints, who added solid depth on both sides of the ball this offseason and drafted a running back in Mark Ingram that could help restore balance to Sean Payton’s offense. The Packers, meanwhile, are coming off a Super Bowl win and will have tight end Jermichael Finley and running back Ryan Grant back from injury. Aaron Rodgers is an absolute stud and should be talked about among the league’s elite. In terms of the odds, the total is set high for a reason but I see this game falling under. In four of the last five season openers the total has fallen under and even though both of these teams can both light up the scoreboard, I don’t think we’ll see either of the Saints or Packers’ best offensive efforts this Thursday. Don’t forget it was a short offseason in terms of season preparation.
ODDS: PACKERS –4 (47)

Colts @ Texans, 1:00PM ET, Sunday
Personally, I think this is the Texans’ year. They went a long way to improve their horrendous defense by hiring Wade Phillips as coordinator and signing free agent corner Jonathan Joseph. Phillips has a knack for turning teams around quickly and I don’t think Houston will be an aberration. Peyton Manning will likely miss Week 1 and that means Kerry Collins will get the nod. If Manning is healthy the Colts are liable to go 12-4 but without him, they could just as easily fall to 4-12. The Texans usually start off the season on fire before fading in the second half. Maybe this year will be different. I see them getting off to a good start and without Manning, this one could be a blowout.
ODDS: TEXANS –9 (45.5)

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Peyton Manning will likely miss first game

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning throws a pass during the NFL’s Super Bowl XLIV game in Miami, Florida, in this February 7, 2010 file photo. He won’t hoist a Super Bowl trophy this year, but Manning can find comfort in a new survey that ranks him the most powerful athlete for his play on the field and his popularity off it. REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL BUSINESS)

Rumors have been flying around Twitter that Peyton Manning would need more surgery, so the Indianapolis Colts have issued a statement about Manning’s recovery process. Bottom line is that he’ll likely miss the first game as he has suffered some complications and they will be holding him out of practice this week as they try to figure out what is slowing down his recovery.

The Peyton Manning situation is growing more worrisome by the minute

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning walks off the field after throwing an interception in the final moments of their NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Massachusetts November 21, 2010. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Question: How worried are the Colts about Peyton Manning’s neck injury?

Answer: They just brought Kerry Collins out of retirement.

That cloud of doubt I talked about in this piece on Tuesday is starting to get even bigger in Indianapolis. That’s because according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the Colts’ “braintrust” does not believe Manning will be ready for Week 1. Mortensen says that Manning is “hopeful,” but the report and the addition of Collins say otherwise.

Granted, Curtis Painter (42.4 QB rating) has been dreadful this preseason so maybe signing Collins was just a precautionary measure by the Colts. Maybe they just wanted to ensure that Manning would have a decent backup regardless of whether or not he’s able to play in Week 1.

Then again, why would Collins come out of retirement if he didn’t think he would have the opportunity to play? He’s 38 years old and it’s not like he needs the money. Chances are the Colts told him that there’s a good chance he’ll suit up for Week 1 and then Manning’s injury status could be a fluid situation the entire year. (In other words, Collins may play more than just one game.)

Either way, there’s legitimate concern that Manning won’t be ready for the start of the season. Of course, if he only misses one or two games it won’t be the end of the world. In fact, if he needs more time in order to become 100-percet healthy, then he should take it.

But if he’s banged up all season then the Colts are in some major trouble.

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