TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Peyton Manning spent reporting day at home in Indianapolis, his valuable left knee immobilized after having surgery to remove an infected bursa sac.
Manning's injury, of course, is Indianapolis' biggest question heading into the preseason, and for the first time since undergoing the procedure July 14, the perennial Pro Bowler tried to provide some answers about the ailment that suddenly sidelined one of the league's most durable quarterbacks last week.
"I'm not really in very much pain," he told reporters in a conference call, his first public comments since surgery. "I have pain medication, but I haven't had to take any in about eight days. The doctors think no pain means the infection is clearing."
That's good news for the Colts, who are still hedging their bets at quarterback in case it takes Manning longer to recover.
Manning said he was being treated for swelling in the knee and had it drained several times during the offseason. Then July 14, he woke up in severe pain, had trouble walking, and immediately flew back to Indy. Team doctors recommended he have surgery.
The former Super Bowl MVP is expected to miss four to six weeks.
GREEN BAY, Wis. - The Packers had scheduled a ceremony to retire Brett Favre's jersey in conjunction with the Sept. 8 season opener against Minnesota at Lambeau Field.
But with Favre now considering playing again in 2008 and locked in a standoff with Packers management about his future in football, Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy said the ceremony might have to be postponed.
"We have not made a decision yet on whether to cancel it," Murphy said. But he said any delay would only be temporary.
"We're going to retire Brett's number at some point," Murphy said. "Regardless of whether it's this year, it'll be sometime in the future."
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - Denver Broncos receiver Rod Smith broke out a pair of dark shades and his two Super Bowl rings for the occasion, wearing one on each hand.
The rings were a reminder of once was, the shades to hide back the tears.
Smith stepped into a room full of family, friends, and teammates yesterday and announced he was done.
He tried to tell a joke to start things off, but his usual wisecracks failed him. Instead, he pulled out a tissue from his pocket and dabbed at his eyes.
The 38-year-old Smith has been on the reserve/retired list since February and has had two hip operations in the last year and a half. He's the franchise's career leader in every major receiving category.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - A major storm hit the Arizona training camp one day before practice begins, when standout wide receiver Anquan Boldin lashed out at the Cardinals organization for failing to follow through on what he said was a promise for a new contract.
He said he had told his agent Drew Rosenhaus to end negotiations and that he would not re-sign with the team.
"Right now I don't want a deal," he said after the players went through a running drill. "You may think I'm funny or saying that just to say it, but for me, I'm tired of it. I washed my hands of the whole situation."
Boldin, a two-time Pro Bowl player and a team captain last season, said he was promised a new contract before this season.
He has three years left on the four-year, $22.75 million contract extension he signed after the 2005 season that keeps him under contract through 2010.35.1982 -111.6513