The NFL's two-time MVP 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, Manning is hoping coach Tony Dungy's most recent prognosis on the shorter end proves correct. Manning has never missed a start, building the NFL's second-longest streak of consecutive starts for a quarterback (160), and he's missed only one play in his career because of injury.
Manning acknowledged he'd rather be resting at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, where his teammates begin practicing Friday. But Dungy acknowledged the better choice may be keeping Manning in Indy to avoid any potential temptation of Manning returning too soon.
In another move related to Manning, the Colts announced they had signed two veteran quarterbacks -- Quinn Gray, who played for AFC South division rival Jacksonville last season, and Jared Lorenzen, a backup to Peyton's brother Eli with the Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
Manning's longtime backup, Jim Sorgi, now becomes the temporary starter.
"That (position) was something we targeted to perhaps upgrade if we could, but we wanted to do it with experienced guys," team president Bill Polian said. "So we thought it made sense to bring them in."
Manning, too, understood the need for extra arms since he's expected to open camp on what could be the league's highest-profile physically unable to perform list. NFL Defensive Player of the Year Bob Sanders, former league sacks champion Dwight Freeney, starting guard Ryan Lilja, starting linebacker Tyjuan Hagler and rookie tight end Tom Santi are all expected to join Manning on the PUP list.
Polian was waiting to make those moves official until he met with the team's medical staff later Thursday. All the injured players except Hagler are expected to be ready for the season opener Sept. 7 against Chicago. Dungy said Hagler may be out until October.