Can't wait to see Peyton Manning back in action next year. No doubt, the Indianapolis Colts, winners of one game this season, can't wait, either.

Colts running back Joseph Addai said the velocity on Manning's short throws last week was game-ready.

Addai was one of three players catching passes from Manning after a team workout Dec. 14. Receiver Anthony Gonzalez, center Jeff Saturday, and a receiver from the practice squad also took part.

On Tuesday, team vice chairman Bill Polian told reporters that Manning was throwing "better" and responded "that's correct" when asked whether Manning had decent velocity on throws 20 to 25 yards down the field.

Manning has not played in a game since having neck surgery Sept. 8. He's already been ruled out of the final two games and is not expected to participate in team practices before the season ends Jan. 1.

Lift every voice

Patti LaBelle, Bret Michaels, and En Vogue are among the artists who will perform in free concerts during the week leading up to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

The artists will perform on stages along Lucas Oil Stadium beginning Jan. 27.

Other artists scheduled to appear include Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Corey Cox, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Edwin McCain, Fitz and the Tantrums, Fuel, Here Come the Mummies, IU's Straight No Chaser, LMFAO, O.A.R, Railroad Earth, Sixpence None the Richer, Umphrey's McGee, and Will Hoge.

Madonna will perform at halftime.

Tebow mania?

For all the buzz he has generated, Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow's presence couldn't prevent the Buffalo Bills home game against Denver on Saturday from being blacked out on local television.

The Bills announced they still had about 24,000 tickets left for their final home game of the season. Buffalo closes its season having its last three home games blacked out.

Harrison weighs in

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison believes the Cleveland Browns should be disciplined by the NFL for how they handled the aftermath of Harrison's helmet-to-helmet hit on Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy.

Harrison practiced Wednesday for the first time since being suspended one game for his collision with McCoy on Dec. 8.

Harrison said he understood the hit was illegal but wondered why the Browns let McCoy return to the game so quickly despite the severity of the collision. The 2008 NFL defensive player of the year said that if he was suspended, the Browns should also face penalties from the league.

Bonus baby

A person with knowledge of the payout says the NFL Players Association has given executive director DeMaurice Smith a $1 million bonus.

The bonus was paid solely at the discretion of the union, the person said on condition of anonymity because the payment was not announced.

Smith was hired in March 2009 to replace the late Gene Upshaw.

Smith never asked about the bonus, the person said, but the union's executive committee voted to give it to him after he led the players through the 41/2- month lockout that ended in late July.

- Inquirer wire services