Peyton Manning medically cleared by doctors

(AP) - The Indianapolis Colts just can’t escape the Peyton Manning questions.

Even on a day the team hired four new assistant coaches for Chuck Pagano’s staff, the Manning saga was still causing a stir. With a $28 million decision looming next month, new general manager Ryan Grigson acknowledged that the Colts couldn’t afford to make a mistake based solely on sentimental reasons.

The next twist came a few hours later when ESPN reported that Manning had been "cleared to play" by the two doctors who performed the surgery. The Colts’ own doctors must still clear him for contact, something that would have to happen for Manning to be cleared. The league also does not allow full contact in the offseason.

Manning has been throwing since at least early December and told reporters Tuesday that he threw to several receivers that day.

A team spokesman said there was nothing new in the report.

Colts owner Jim Irsay and Manning are scheduled to meet again next week.

Manning missed the entire 2011 season after having his third neck surgery in 19 months. The Colts must pay a $28 million roster bonus by March 8 or risk losing him as a free agent.

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