Eli Manning wasn’t sure Peyton would be able to come back

AP

Peyton Manning has proved many people wrong by coming back from neck surgeries to play in a Super Bowl, including his little brother.

Eli Manning said during an appearance on the NFL Network (via the New York Daily News) that after seeing some of his brother’s early throws after the surgery, there was little indication he could get back to this level.

“I saw him after that first surgery, this neck surgery, and I was pretty much convinced that he was done,” Eli said. “There was no way he could come back and play football. That first time he went and we were just throwing it in the backyard of our house. We’re throwing 15 yards away, and it was a lob. He couldn’t throw 15 yards on a line. It had no pop.”

After missing the entire 2011 season, Peyton’s first games back were also a little shaky, and the concern persisted.

“I remember watching his preseason game last year and I was worried. I was kind of like, ‘I don’t know how this is going to work,’ ” Eli said. “If you gotta make a throw, or someone’s in your face, and you can’t step into the throw, can you make all those throws that you gotta make a lot of to end games. . . .

“But sure enough, he’s been able to do it, and even this year, he’s been stronger, his arm strength’s been stronger, and he’s been better than ever. So it’s been an amazing journey for him and what he’s overcome and for me to watch him to go through it, and the dedication to work has been inspiring.”

While the arm’s not the same as it was, Peyton was able to send the ducks into the right spots, breaking league records for passing yards (5,477) and touchdowns (55) in the process.