INDIANAPOLIS Peyton Manning proved Tuesday he can stand, walk and talk.
Next question: Will the two-time league MVP start in the Colts' season opener?
Manning made it to his first practice of the season Tuesday, then ended his self-imposed silence by saying he wanted to play in Indianapolis' first regular-season game Sept. 7 against Chicago although he couldn't provide a guarantee.
"I've not really had a whole lot to say to tell you the truth," he said. "As to when I'll be back on the practice field, that's still to be determined. Obviously, the sooner, the better for me. My goal is to be back for the first game."
Indy's franchise quarterback had been kept out of public view since having surgery to remove an infected bursa sac from his left knee July 14. Team officials said he was staying away to reduce the risk of another infection.
Things began changing Monday when the former Super Bowl MVP arrived at a charity bowling event, closed to the media.
Over the past couple of weeks, local radio talk shows have been filled with questions about whether Manning's knee was worse than originally diagnosed and whether he might miss the season opener or additional games and a local television station showed an apparent photo of Manning at the bowling tournament Monday with a brace over his right knee.By Tuesday morning, Manning was back at practice in his familiar No. 18 jersey, minus a helmet or pads, and wearing a wrap around his left knee. He threw a few passes but spent most of the time chatting with team owner Jim Irsay and coach Tony Dungy at the new Lucas Oil Stadium.
BILLS QB EDWARDS LIMPS OFF: Buffalo Bills starting quarterback Trent Edwards hurt his right leg during practice and walked off the field with a slight limp Tuesday night.
Edwards was hurt about 45 minutes into practice during 11-on-11 drills when it appeared he and running back Marshawn Lynch knocked knees during a running play. Edwards went down and lay on the field for about 5 minutes as team trainers examined his right knee. Also joining Edwards was Bills chief operating officer Russ Brandon.Edwards favored his right leg when he was helped up, and then walked with a slight limp as he was led to the team's locker room at training camp in suburban Rochester. The extent of the injury was not immediately known.
FALCONS RELEASE HORN: The Atlanta Falcons have cut veteran wide receiver Joe Horn.
The 36-year-old Horn was released on Tuesday by the Falcons, who will receive no return on his guaranteed $2.5 million salary for 2008.
Horn was a disappointment in 2007, when he caught only 27 passes for 243 yards and one touchdown after signing a four-year, $14.5 million deal.
Horn sat out voluntary workouts, did not play in the team's first two preseason games because of a hamstring injury and asked to be traded.
The Falcons also have cut ties with veterans Warrick Dunn, Rod Coleman, DeAngelo Hall and Alge Crumpler as they begin a rebuilding season.Horn, a 1996 draft pick by Kansas City, played seven years with New Orleans before signing with Atlanta.
HASSELBECK'S BACK TIGHTENS UP: A day after he returned to the practice field, Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is again dealing with a balky back.
Hasselbeck left Tuesday morning's practice after about 45 minutes when his back began to tighten up. He returned at the start of the afternoon session to do some stretching with the team, but walked off the field and back into the locker room with the rest of the injured Seahawks.The Pro Bowl quarterback fully participated in a practice Monday for the first time since his back stiffened following Seattle's first preseason game against Minnesota on Aug. 8. The Seahawks won 34-17.
FULL PRACTICE FOR POLAMALU: Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu participated in a full practice for the first time this preseason on Tuesday.
Polamalu, who has been selected to the past four Pro Bowls, was placed on the physically unable to perform list on the first day of training camp. He had injured his hamstring before arriving and has only worked out lightly on his own.
"I like the fact that they're taking it slow because a hamstring is the kind of thing that you definitely don't want to have linger throughout the season," Polamalu said.Polamalu made it through practice at the team's facility Tuesday "looking pretty good," coach Mike Tomlin said. Later, neither Polamalu nor Tomlin would commit to his playing Saturday against Minnesota.
T.O. SAYS COWBOYS WILL TURN ON SWITCH: Terrell Owens scoffs at any notion that there is reason to worry about the Dallas Cowboys after losing their first two preseason games.
"We'll be fine once the season starts," Owens said Tuesday. "I promise you."
So, no concerns that the first-team offense was mostly ineffective in the second game after scoring a touchdown on its only possession in the opener, without a pass from Tony Romo to T.O.?
"I mean you can never really get a full or a great assessment just by playing a few plays here, a quarter," Owens said.
That is expected to change Friday night in the third preseason game, when coach Wade Phillips plans to play his starters into the second half against the Houston Texans.
Owens has three catches for 20 yards, all coming within a span of five plays on the same drive in the second game. And that possession netted only 24 yards after being bogged down by three penalties.
"Once the preseason is over, I think it's almost like another switch is turned off and another one is turned on," said Owens, who caught a Cowboys-record 15 TD passes last season. "We can't really gauge by how the season may go just by the way the preseason goes."
They better hope that's true, because the Cowboys have had two mistake-filled and penalty-plagued games against San Diego and Denver, not that kind of performances anticipated for a team with such high expectations.