Manning's bruised thumb not broken
Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.
INDIANAPOLIS — Peyton Manning's injured right thumb gave the Colts a scare Monday. Fortunately, for Indianapolis, that's all it was.
Manning bruised the thumb on his throwing hand late in the AFC championship game, but X-rays found no broken bones and he's expected to start against Chicago in the Super Bowl, Colts owner Jim Irsay told The Associated Press on Monday night.
"There's no concerns with that at all," Irsay said. "He's fine. I talked to the trainer about it earlier, and I know that's the case."
Earlier Monday, coach Tony Dungy said Manning's thumb was discolored and painful, so the team scheduled X-rays. Manning hit his thumb on the left tackle Tarik Glenn's helmet in the Colts' 38-34 victory over New England on Sunday night.
Manning, a two-time MVP, engineered the greatest comeback in championship game history, rallying the Colts from an 18-point first-half deficit, to reach his first Super Bowl.
But Dungy never doubted Manning, the Colts' $98 million man, would miss the game.
"From everything I hear, it's going to be OK," Dungy said.
Manning ranks second on the NFL's consecutive starts list for quarterbacks, behind Brett Favre. He has started 156 consecutive games, including the playoffs.
In fact, Manning has missed only play because of injury in his nine-year pro career, that coming in a 2001 game against Miami.
He was injured when Dolphins defensive end Lorenzo Bromell made a helmet-to-helmet hit underneath Manning's chin strap. Manning was bloodied and sustained a fractured jaw. Backup Mark Rypien replaced Manning, botched the handoff on the ensuing play and the Dolphins returned the fumble for a touchdown. Bromell was later fined $15,500 for the hit.
Manning's backup now is Jim Sorgi, a third-year player out of Wisconsin.
Irsay said he was sure Manning would play.
"He's a tough guy," Irsay said. "We're in good shape, we're fine."
The most serious injury concern for the Colts is cornerback Nick Harper, who left during the first half Sunday and didn't return. Dungy said he was uncertain whether it was a high ankle sprain or a basketball-variety sprain that he sustained by rolling the ankle. If it's a high ankle sprain, it could take four to six weeks to recover.
Tight end Ben Utecht also sprained his right knee, but later returned. Dungy expects him to play against the Bears.
Oakland hired Lane Kiffin as their coach, making the 31-year-old Southern California offensive coordinator the NFL's youngest head coach.
Kiffin, the son of Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, earned the job with a strong interview after the Raiders failed to reach a deal last week with 32-year-old Steve Sarkisian, Kiffin's fellow assistant to Pete Carroll at USC.
Cincinnati's top draft pick is the first challenge to coach Marvin Lewis' new get-tough policy with his misbehaving players.
Cornerback Johnathan Joseph was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. Joseph was the ninth Cincinnati player arrested in the last nine months, but the first since Lewis announced three weeks ago that he was taking a harder line on player misconduct.
New York looked to one of its division rivals to help shore up its porous defense.
Steve Spagnuolo, the Philadelphia Eagles' linebackers coach the past three seasons, was hired by the Giants to be their defensive coordinator.
Spagnuolo will replace Tim Lewis, who was fired this month after three seasons with the Giants.
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