In a conversation that largely focused on Sunday's Super Bowl in Indianapolis, Eli admitted that it has been a tough road for his brother. Peyton has endured two neck surgeries in an eight month span and appears headed on his way out from the Colts, especially after some public sniping aimed at management. The cervical fusion surgery sidelined Peyton for the entirety of the season past as the Colts finished with a 2-14 record, bad enough for the top pick in April's NFL draft.
And the foregone conclusion is that the Colts will take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the No. 1 selection, likely spelling the end of Manning's 14 year career with the Colts.
"I know that when he was drafted to the Colts, he had his mind set that he would love to finish his career here," Eli said in the NFL Network interview.
"That's a lot of peoples' goals; you never know if that's going to happen, but he wants to play football. He's going to rehab and he's going to work as hard as anyone to try and get back healthy. We just have to see what happens."
There was a lot of hope and speculation that Peyton would end up with the New York Jets. If this farfetched scenario took place, it would set up a 'Manning versus Manning' Super Bowl in 2014 in New York at MetLife Stadium, a storyline the NFL would surely love. But it is unlikely that the Jets are a logical suitor for Peyton, especially with new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano likely to install a run heavy offense.
And as Eli takes the field on Sunday hoping to win his second Super Bowl, the beautiful Lucas Oil Stadium which hosts this year's game is a testament to what Peyton helped build in Indianapolis with the Colts. Eli doesn't see anywhere other than Indianapolis for his brother to end a career that will surely take him to Canton.
"It'd be tough. He's been so important to this town. When he came to Indianapolis, they were not known for their football — it was truly a basketball town," Eli said.
"He's changed that image a little bit, and it would be hard to imagine him playing somewhere else."
Follow Kristian R. Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer
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