The likelihood of

Peyton Manning

's returning to action for the Colts in 2011 is fading fast. Colts owner

Jim Irsay

told WXIN-TV in Indianapolis on Thursday that he doesn't "envision Peyton playing this season."

Manning's still on the Colts' active roster while rehabbing from September neck surgery.

"These things take time," Irsay told WRTV-TV, via the Indianapolis Star. "The best doctors can't predict. People often think someone knows for sure, and the answer is only time will tell. He is doing everything he can to get back and is working as hard as he can."

Irsay's remarks are a departure from his hopeful tweet earlier this month: "8 weeks til xmas, less than 100 days til Super Bowl ... Peyton's healing well, maybe he'll take a snap b4 the ball falls in NYC, New Year's eve!"

In a week when Archie Manning, Peyton's father, made the rounds acknowledging that Colts general manager Bill Polian would face a dilemma if Indy wound up with the No. 1 overall draft pick, there is a larger question forming: If healthy, where exactly will Peyton Manning be playing one season from now?

Latest Favre update

Brett Favre will not be coming back. The erstwhile NFL quarterback said so on his website this week.

The statement said: "I'm enjoying retirement with my family and have no plans to play football. I haven't contacted nor have I been contacted by any teams and all reports are inaccurate."

The 42-year-old Favre retired in the offseason after a 20-year career and lives in Mississippi. The three-time MVP retired with the Packers in 2008 and New York Jets in 2009 before deciding on a return with the Vikings.

Brain trauma finding

Former NFL running back Lew Carpenter never had any concussions - or at least none that his family knew about back in the 1950s and '60s, when he played for the Lions, Browns, and Packers and there wasn't as much concern over them as there is now.

Still, when he began having trouble late in his life finding the right word, keeping things organized, remembering why he was going to the doctor or controlling his temper, relatives grew concerned.

After he died last November at age 78, his family donated his brain to researchers studying a degenerative disease increasingly found in football players and other athletes who have absorbed repeated blows to the head.

This week the results came in: Carpenter had an advanced form of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

"Concussions aren't necessary for CTE to exist," said Robert Cantu, a Boston University researcher working on the project in conjunction with the Veterans Affairs Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy. "Even if he didn't have any concussions, the amount of subconcussive trauma that he had - he probably had between 1,000 and 1,500 subconcussive blows a year, just from practice and play in games."

Carpenter is the latest former athlete to be diagnosed with CTE, and the results are leading researchers down a new, perhaps more troubling, path: Damage may be caused as much or more by the low-level, or subconcussive, blows to the heads as by the big hits replayed on the highlight shows that leave a player wobbly.

- Inquirer wire services