Severity of Peyton’s injury called into question

AP

As the NFL world wonders what went wrong with Peyton Manning in Sunday’s loss to the Colts, anonymous sources are engaged in a back-and-forth about the severity of his leg injury.

What we know is this: Manning took a hard hit in Week 15 against the Chargers, briefly left the game, and has been listed on the team’s injury report as having a thigh injury since then.

What we don’t know is the severity of that injury. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported today that Manning has been playing through a torn quadriceps. But shortly after Schefter’s report, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reported that Manning simply had a strain, not a full tear.

Schefter attributed his report to “two sources,” while Renck attributed his report to “a team source.” So we have no idea who’s talking and why. But it’s fair to think that Schefter’s two sources are motivated by putting Manning in a positive light, suggesting that Manning didn’t struggle because he’s getting old but because he was playing through an injury. Conversely, Renck’s team source may be motivated by not wanting the Broncos to appear to have been playing fast and loose with the NFL’s injury reporting rules.

Meanwhile, Jay Glazer of FOX reports that Manning actually has injuries to both quads, with a strain or partial tear in one and a deep bruise in the other.

If you believe Manning was struggling late in the season because he’s hurt, you probably believe that with a full offseason to rest, he can be a great quarterback again next season. If you believe that Manning only suffered the kind of minor injury that all NFL players suffer at some point in a season, you probably believe that Manning is showing signs of age, and that he’ll never be the kind of player he once was.

Whether Manning has a future in Denver — or anywhere else — remains to be seen. He turns 39 in March.

115 responses to “Severity of Peyton’s injury called into question

  1. Aaron Rodgers, the BEST in the game, had a torn CALF and still got it done!!!! I dont wanna hear any excuses from you Broncos fan. The better teams won this weekend, simple as that!!!!

  2. I hope Peyton doesn’t go out looking old w/ people feeling bad for him, like Dan Marino did. He’s too good for that.

  3. If Peyton was injured for a month, how did the Broncos win so big against the Raiders on December 28, 2014? They got the AFC’s second seed and wasted the season. Loss in divisional round is disappointing, and the Broncos should have played Osweiler.

  4. Manning wanted to play through and did. Rodgers had TONS of plays on sunday where it was CLEAR to the educated fan that he was not himself.

    Half-Rodgers is good enough to beat the Dallas D tho, as we saw. Manning needs to be full strength and then some to win playoff games.

  5. I despised Peyton early in his career because h’s just a goofy SOB but then grew to love the guy because he’s the best ever. But, it’s time for him to ride into the sunset. Maybe the Broncos fire Fox and hire him as HC?

  6. 4th in total QB rating
    2nd in TD passes
    4th in total yards
    6th in completion percentage
    5th in yards per pass attempt

    If those stats say peyton should retire, I think its safe to say 85% of the other QBs in the league should probably hang em up too

  7. Does it even matter? Toe-Head does the same thing every single year: He folds like a camping chair in the post season.

    All the accolades in the regular season mean squat when your mouth-breathing little brother knows the real way to ride a hot streak in a way that you never will.

  8. We will only really know how severe if he has off-season surgery.

    I would still take the aged Manning on my team. Him at 80% or even 70% is better than half the QB’s in the league. And all the people who are worrying about his “greatness” diminishing or hoping he goes out before it gets sad have that opinion for their own reasons.

    Manning will retire or keep playing based on what he wants to do. No one else has a right to say what is right or wrong for him. The only question is whether an NFL team will take a chance on him and that is clear. He is welcome back to the Broncos and if he’s not, there are a lot of other teams who would happily sign him.

  9. Anyone who missed all the Den games since November will be shocked. Performance fell off of a cliff.
    That is injury, not a sudden onset of Alzheimers.
    Obvious bet is a neck, arm related issue. At the start of rehab, he couldn’t throw the ball 10 yards. His strength is not at normal levels.
    He is too much of a class act to talk about it, on top of the general culture to hide vulnerabilities.
    That is, lie about it.

    This particular Pats fanatic is pulling for him. League is a better place with him.

  10. Why doesn’t the NFL just do away with the current injury reporting system? It is constantly being gamed.

    Instead, the NFL should hire its own 32 medical observers who are assigned to each team. They observe practice and write-up a report after each practice. They conduct random check-ins with the players. The teams still report injuries to the league, but then these medical observers can confirm them. Any player to be placed onto IR needs to be examined by the medical observer who determines whether or not the injury would require more than 1 month to heal, warranting IR.

    In the event an injury is not reported at all on the weekly report, the team loses a draft pick. In the event an injury is reported incorrectly, they are fined.

    Just seems like an overall simple solution to a problem that has been around for a really long time. That they do not implement such a solution makes me think that the NFL likes the existence of this wiggle-room. They know that gamblers rely on it. They know that journalists rely on it to do some sleuthing and story writing. They know that teams rely on it to do some deception.

  11. Isn’t Cialis for men with some kind of “one and done” dysfunction? Me thinks Peyton will have his new spokesman gig lined up soon.

  12. What were they listed as in the injury report?
    Everyone knew about Rodger’s injury. But it sounds like a lot the Manning news is new today. Can the Broncos be fined for not being divulging all injury info necessary to the league for the report weekly?

  13. Just one simple question about it; why no limp? I’ve been watching Peyton with ‘the injury’ for almost 2 months, and never noticed him showing any problem moving around. Rodgers has a calf injury, and it shows. Cam Newton has ankle injuries, and that shows. Peyton has a leg injury… and all it affects is his arm. Huh?

  14. I have never seen a bunch of more classless trolls then the folks who comment on this site, starting with Jim Irsay who knocks a man while he is down. Peyton Manning is one of the top 5 QB’s to ever play this game and has been an ambassador for the NFL his entire career. Maybe you should look yourself in the mirror. I have had it reaading these posts. 95% of what I read is all negative garbage with no facts or credibility to back it up. 90% of those people have never watched a football game before 2000. You people truly are negative and miserable.. Kick Rocks!

  15. You know, we can try to find out what was wrong, was he injured. At the end of the day, this era should come to an end. It was a great career and I would have liked to see him win some more superbowls but it wasn’t meant to be.

    But to those that say pass the reigns – I have no idea who Brock Oze-Wilder is and I doubt this guy is the solution. Broncos might be back to the drawing board and I think the end is inevitable for John Fox too – even if he stays on until next year.

  16. I think the leg injuries are not the issue. I think that he has re injured his neck and that is why there has been the lack of strength and accuracy on his throws.

    It would be something similar to what Carson Palmer went through with the frozen shoulder.

  17. If he does indeed have a quad injury, that would explain his lackluster performances over the past several weeks. A QB uses his legs to drive the football. If he can’t step into throws to drive the ball, there will be no zip on it. Manning clearly had no zip on his throws yesterday.

    Not all his fault though. The Broncos as a team looked flat, particularly on defense. That was a pretty unimaginative defensive game plan Jack Del Rio came up with. Raiders fans had better hope Del Rio doesn’t become their next head coach, or their futility will continue.

  18. Aaron Rodgers, the BEST in the game, had a torn CALF and still got it done!!!! I dont wanna hear any excuses from you Broncos fan. The better teams won this weekend, simple as that!!!!
    —————————————————-
    Rodgers had a good decent drive and the rest of the game he was slow and inaccurate. Besides, nobody is making excuses, it was clear for everyone that Manning was injured.

  19. Manning will retire or keep playing based on what he wants to do. No one else has a right to say what is right or wrong for him. The only question is whether an NFL team will take a chance on him and that is clear. He is welcome back to the Broncos and if he’s not, there are a lot of other teams who would happily sign him.
    ——————————————————–
    But as fans who enjoyed watching him play, none of us want to see the Brett Favre show all over again. And to Peyton Manning, that is his responsibility.

  20. Packer fans, take your Aaron Rodgers comments and shove ’em. Or better yet, wait until after he has faced that tough Seahawks defense before you engage in silly, meaningless bragging.

  21. This is what I noticed about Manning since the Rams game; it appeared that he had to muscle up to throw the ball with any kind of velocity, and as a result he lost accuracy on such throws. Hence, the rise in interceptions and decrease in completion percentage. Whether this was due to injury, age or a combination of both, I cannot say for sure.

    Either way, Father Time is catching up with Peyton, if he hasn’t already.

    But I don’t see why he still can’t be an effective QB for one more year, provided he adjusts to the reality that he will no longer be able to make some of the same throws that he could in the past.

  22. “It’s all about the money with Peyton, he wants next years money, even though he knows he’s done.”

    If there are 12324 reasons that he wants to play next year, $$ is reason #12325…….

  23. If he plays next season there is a good chance it will get ugly at times.
    He is lucky to leave with a functioning spine.

    That said, the Broncos will suffer without him.

  24. Peyton Manning has had the misfortune to be good enough to get his teams farther than they should go and then watch as better teams (or teams on amazing hot streaks) bring them back down to earth. Is he the greatest quarterback of all time? Well, if he isn’t in a class by himself, the roll call in the room doesn’t take too long to finish.

    Yesterday is an example of how fate deals jokers to Peyton… if yesterday had happened in a vacuum, people would be saying “what a competitor to go out and give your all even though you’re injured. what a warrior!” But, just a few hours earlier, you saw another quarterback go out with a similar (if not more severe) injury and gut it out to the point where he leads his team to victory. So, instead of the gutsy competitor meme, Peyton gets the ‘but Aaron did it on a worse injury’ meme.

  25. Don’t like the Colts or Broncos at all, however, props to Indy yesterday. They won that game, no excuses for Denver. Luck is a stud QB, and Indy looks smart for letting go of Manning. Denver will need to make some big changes this offseason if they want to get back to the playoffs.

  26. He’s getting by on smarts alone at this point…he clearly lacks the zip on his passes to win playoff games at this point. He can get you to the dance though….

  27. Aaron Wroggers is faking for dramatic mvp effect. He wants everyone to know he has a boo boo. Peyton actually has class and plays. Besides we know that game wasn’t a true win by the Packers. I hope to see them lose by another fail Mary.

  28. God smited him as revenge for Elway and Fox dumping his arch angel Tebow. Better cut him and bring Tebow back before a plague of locusts descends on Denver and eats their favorite crop before they can smoke it.

  29. The Broncs have a pretty talented young QB waiting in the wings (2 years) should Peyton decide to hang’em up.

  30. the biggest playoff choker of all time. i would take eli any day. at eli is a gamer. 2 SB appearances, 2 rings. and this is coming from an eagles fan.

  31. Does a quad injury cause a QB to have noodle arm? He hasn’t had much zip on the ball since he came back from the neck injury. I think it’s more to do with his neck than his legs. Either way,he’s not the same guy.

  32. Makes sense. The guy had 55 touchdowns and the greatest offense ever 12 months ago. He had 22TD’s and 3 INT’s mid-season. Something wasn’t right with him. You don’t just lose it over night like that. The Broncos were still 12-4 with this “washed up” QB so it wasn’t all bad.

  33. Regardless if its a strain or a tear it affected him, Manning doesn’t have the arm strength after his surgery and know he can’t use his legs the way he supposed to makes the arm look that much worst, add the wind and cold and you get the ducks he was throwing the last few weeks of the season, he did not want to play in foxoboro with that injury for sure, belicheat would have made him look like an old man

  34. John fox should’ve taken a page from belichecks book. When you can’t beat a team straight up you have to fool them with trickery. Broncos kept trying to force the same plays over and over again.

  35. At the end of the 2013 season, Manning’s arm strength also was noticeably weaker. TV commentators mentioned it and several wounded-duck passes seemed to prove them correct. Maybe his arm just is shot, or some other injuries are preventing him from throwing as he once did. It was clear yesterday that Indy dismissed the deep ball as a threat and smothered all the short routes.

  36. He was fine the opening drive, then Newsome got the strip-sack on him and he was never the same. Did his quad magically tear after that hit? I don’t think so. He was rattled and played in panic mode the rest of the game. Don’t blame the quad for that loss! The Colts took it to him and earned the win

  37. I was just amazed at the total lack of urgency on the part of the Bronco’s during that last drive ….. three straight plays called away from the sidelines, no one making any effort to stop the clock out of bounds.

    And that last play, one of the Denver receives was still SLOWLY walking back to the Denver side, with his teammates already at the line, waiting for him so they could snap the ball.

    SERIOUSLY?????

  38. atthemurph says:
    Jan 12, 2015 12:14 PM
    Should have hung it up 4 years ago. He’ll keep playing because he playing for records, just like Favre did.
    ———————————————————-
    He had the best qb season in history last year, yet you think he was done 4 years ago?

  39. I did not see him limping at all. His short passes were crisp and on target it was his long passes that were way off. If he was hurting so bad, why did he check off the deep routes over and over again.
    I wouldn’t ask the dentist ‘ please keep digging at that root canal the pain is awful and I’m loving it’.
    Its total bs. He has a sissy bruise and they are trying to say, his career isn’t over he will be fine.
    Denver time for an overhaul. You’ve got a load of overpriced has beens not to mention running backs who don’t seem to be able to make it through the season.

  40. Someone show me the posts where Denver fans are making excuses. You can’t because they don’t exist. You also don’t see 10,000 posts blaming the refs like every other fanbase that lost. You don’t see name calling or any of the totally classless behavior that fills these posts constantly. Class is a foreign concept to most of the children here.

  41. The good thing is Elway promised Tebow he would work with him and since Elway kept his promise Tim is in the pipeline ready to step up after 3 years as Peyton understudy. You have to admire Elway’s vision.

  42. Jan 12, 2015 1:09 PM
    I don’t even buy Rodgers injury. He’s a drama queen. Manning? Well, he in no longer consequential. All stat, no cattle.
    ————————————————————–
    Your absolutely correct. Fain an injury in a very important game to gain what kind of advantage did you dream up in your pea brain mind again????? Oh, ya he decided too to make the charade a real good one to not run when he had numerous opportunities but stand in place and take a beating.

  43. This played out exactly as it should have.

    *if* they even got to the SB again, it would have been another slaughter. Best to end it this way and walk away with some doubt.

    Manning returning or not makes no difference in January. The better QBs in the draft come after the first round anyways….they will be fine.

  44. lol … Yes Peyton should retire … we really want to see QBs like RG3 or Geno or Lindey play.
    How exciting … watching punters kicking the ball back and forth.

  45. Of corse the ESPN “insider” will insist he’s right got to get that Next Manning exclusive when he retires. Entertainment Sports and Pandering to the player Network

  46. Early in the season people were saying similar stuff about Brady and look what happened. MVP! You don’t just have a sudden drop off like that due to age. Something else is going on. The answer will come if/when the Broncos make a move to extend his contract, because they will know the real deal, i.e. if he was playing injured, opr he is too old to be effective. It will also show that they were skirting the rules of the injury report. Say it ain’t so…..the Broncos are cheating again? For shame….break out the fines and lost draft picks….Ahhhh-gain.

  47. As a Denver fan, something just wasn’t right with Manning. Definitely a cover up by the team since Nov. Something did happen that affected his performance, no doubt. I laugh at those who are crying for his retirement, mostly Raider fans, or teams that the Broncos beat since Manning’s been on board.

  48. martylaughlin says:
    Jan 12, 2015 12:18 PM
    4th in total QB rating
    2nd in TD passes
    4th in total yards
    6th in completion percentage
    5th in yards per pass attempt

    If those stats say peyton should retire, I think its safe to say 85% of the other QBs in the league should probably hang em up too
    ***********************************************
    You’re playing with numbers. His last 7 games say he’s done and he is.

  49. We all saw him pre-game sprinting out of the tunnel at full speed. How about having some real problems and limp down the field on one leg like Aaron Rodgers who still managed to win the game, and THEN come tell us its news.

  50. That explains alot, especially from the lack of power with his throws, he was not himself the last few games. I’ll bet it hurt like everytime he threw the ball too with that kind of injury. He’ll be back next year, he still has a few years left to win another SB.

  51. Sure, sure. The media making excuses for their golden boy as usual. Just another typical “Peyton Playoff” performance. So many excuses for just another “crap down the leg” Manning game in the postseason. Great QB’s elevate in big games. He has more than a lengthy track record of whizzing his pants in the spotlight when it counts. Please put it to rest…

  52. Imagine if Manning had 3 weeks or a month to rest before playing in a playoff game. That’s what the Broncos gave up by allowing Manning to play after being injured in San Diego on Dec 14th. (I realize he was playing injured for about a month prior to that)

    The probability that even with the backup the Broncos would have won at least one game and gotten a first round bye would have been pretty high. I have a lot of respect for Manning, but the decision to allow him to play was a mistake.

  53. He has looked terrible lately regardless of the reason and he needs to call it a career and retire. This incident speaks volumes about the Broncos organization and their intention of hiding serious injuries with no consideration whatsoever for Manning’s health. They are doing the same to him as to what they did to Tim Tebow. With Elway at the helm, anything is possible.

  54. Like I’ve seen a few people say on here in other places…

    Do I think he can come back and have a great year? Of course he can. I’d still call him a top 5-7 QB.

    Do I think he can come back and play to the level that he wants to be at himself? Not as sure about that one.

    To all the people saying Peyton is done, remember what happened week 4 with Brady.
    People with his knowledge and skill will always be able to play. It’s whether they can come to grips with their limitations and work within them or not.

  55. lanman11 says:
    Jan 12, 2015 1:20 PM
    Early in the season people were saying similar stuff about Brady and look what happened. MVP!
    =======================================
    Brady is not MVP (probably top five) and his early struggles related more closely to an offensive line being rebuilt on the fly and a still recovering Gronkowski. Brady’s arm is not as strong as it used to be but his skills have not diminished anywhere near to the point where Manning’s have.

  56. Aaron Rodgers, the BEST in the game, had a torn CALF and still got it done!!!! I dont wanna hear any excuses from you Broncos fan. The better teams won this weekend, simple as that!!!!

    —————————————————

    And where did you go to med shcool? The one where there is no difference between calf and quad? Or the one that teaches that all injuries are the same?

  57. All starting QB’s in the NFL are playing with various injuries of differing severities at this point in the season. It won’t be any different next season. I’m not a Bronco fan but I’m a big Manning fan. I was a huge Dan Marino and Dolphins fan living in Jacksonville. I became a Jaguars Season Ticket Holder since they acquired a franchise in 1995 so I saw Manning play every year in Jax for the Colts but I also saw Marino play in Jacksonville for the Dolphins and Jimmy Johnson in the 1999 Divisional Playoff 62-7 beat down. It was time for Marino to hang up his cleats after that game and it’s time for Manning to hang up his clears after this game. It’s just that simple. He’s not the same QB as he used to be and he never will be. Father Time and injuries has caught up with him like they they do with all of us.

  58. Does Manning blame quad injuries for his other 8 first round losses in the playoffs?
    I find it laughable that we are told by the Manning media fanboys that regular season wins prove Peyton is the greatest and post season losses mean nothing to his legacy. Injury or no injury, the man has an impressive list of post season failure. And when you consider the plethora of weapons that are given to Manning each and every year, the common denominator has never been more clear. Manning wilts in the playoffs. Never has a QB done so little with so much. New England has never used a #1 on a WR….but went 16-0 when a premium chip, Randy Moss, is given to Brady.

  59. If peyton gets a cold it is headline news in the sporting world, wondering if he will be able to play with a runny nose…you are telling me he has this “torn” muscle for a MONTH and no one has mentioned it until now? PA-LEASE!!!

    hang it up peyton, you had a great career, you just can’t get it done anymore….give someone else their chance now.

  60. Gase deserves some blame here as well. If you know that Peyton is hurt then you can come up with a much better gameplan. That is of course you are focused on interviewing all over the place instead of the upcoming football game!

  61. A strain is a partial tear of a muscle.

    A Grade I or II strain would both technically be “tears”. An athlete could play with a I or a II.

    A Grade III would be a full-thickness tear. An athlete could NOT play on with a III.

  62. Love how fans are “dissapointed” we didn’t get to see another boring repeat of Manning vs Brady,How many times can we watch the same rerun ….its boring and time for new teams to step up and change the “same old same old” every season.The same teams are in the playoffs every year its boring and tired

  63. jm91rs says:
    Jan 12, 2015 1:08 PM
    atthemurph says:
    Jan 12, 2015 12:14 PM
    Should have hung it up 4 years ago. He’ll keep playing because he playing for records, just like Favre did.
    ———————————————————-
    He had the best qb season in history last year, yet you think he was done 4 years ago?
    ————————–

    Yes I do. He fell apart at the end of that season too. If your goal is to win a Lombardi Trophy then you need to have players capable of winning it.

    Manning has now proven over the past 4 years that when the real season begins he can’t get it done because his physical abilities will not allow him to.

    Perhaps he can do it for the first 8 or 10 games a year but when it get’s colder and that nerve starts firing funny, he can’t throw the ball and make the plays necessary to win when it counts.

    He reminds me exactly of Brett Favre in 2007 (only much more beaten up). That was the season GB played in the NFCCG v. NYG in -4 degrees. Favre had WRs running wide open all game and found only one. He was cold, he was old and he couldn’t make the plays to get his team to the Super Bowl so Green Bay cut him loose.

    Denver should have cut Manning loose after last seasons debacle in the SB. He proved he couldn’t win it and would never win it. Old QBs (over 32) almost never win a SB.

    It’s a young man’s game. Denver is entering purgatory. They have a talented team but no QB who can take them to the title. By the time they get a QB the roster will have turned over and they’ll be chasing something else to get them over the hump.

    Elway sold his teams sole, now they are going to become irrelevant for 5 yrs or more.

  64. bucrightoff says:
    Jan 12, 2015 12:17 PM

    His injuries aren’t an excuse for having more than twice as many playoff one and dones (9) as anyone else (4).

    ——————————————————–

    How many QB’s actually make the playoffs 9 times in a career? That in itself is quite an accomplishment. Add in a Super Bowl victory and 2 other appearances in the big game, and that makes for a career that most QB’s would love to have.

  65. You guys are telling him to hang it up? Looking at his numbers for the season they are still pretty dang good. If I am Denver I pray he does not retire, and as a fan of the game. I hope he continues to play because he is the best of all time.

  66. If Peyton was injured for a month, how did the Broncos win so big against the Raiders on December 28, 2014?

    Easy…the Raiders were a 3-13 team. Ergo, they stink. Brian Griese could have beaten Oakland with the Broncos starters.

  67. Schefter attributed his report to “two sources,” while Renck attributed his report to “a team source.”
    ************************

    Apparently Papa John doesn’t want to go on record as a source

  68. HERE COMES THE EXCUSES, BUT IT DOSEN’T HOLD WATER, BECAUSE PEYTON ISN’T MOBILE WITH A GOOD QUAD, AND YOU DON’T THROW WITH YOUR LEG ANYWAY! HIS THROWS WERE WEAK AND OFF TARGET, AND IT’S TIME HE RETIRE!

  69. This site proves the average football fan is clueless and ignorant. Yes, a leg injury does affect a QB’s ability to throw the ball. This whole conversation was non-existant when Manning was throwing great early in the year. Of course, at 39, an injury will be more troublesome to Manning and it will take longer for him to recover, but I see no reason why he won’t be back in full form next year, unless he decided he’s had enough.

  70. And at the end of next season it will be Eli 3 rings to Payton’s one

    Would love to sit at that family dinner

  71. Peyton Manning has a slight tear of the labrum in his shoulder. He will have a secret surgery in the next month and then decide if he wants to play again. Has little to nothing to do with his thigh. He hurt his shoulder on that block.

  72. If Manning was hurt like it is being claimed then what the hell was he doing playing in the 4th quarter of a meaningless game against the Raiders week 17? Padding his stats you say? Oh, okay.

  73. He can’t throw down field. The offense is a fraud, all they do is come up with creative ways to throw screen passes to the WR. That method is not effective on good defenses.

  74. bhinrichs9 says:
    Jan 12, 2015 2:44 PM
    You guys are telling him to hang it up? Looking at his numbers for the season they are still pretty dang good. If I am Denver I pray he does not retire, and as a fan of the game. I hope he continues to play because he is the best of all time.————————————————–
    If by best of all time you mean best at losing playoff games I will agree. All time most playoff losses. You got to be damn good at choking to pull that off with those amazing regular season stats that win a team nothing.

  75. Nine time one and done. Just think about that. History will remember him as a stat machine who couldn’t play well when it mattered most. He even stunk in the one Super Bowl his team won. Good riddance to the greatest over rated player of all time.

  76. This is hilarious! I’m guessing that whoever leaked this information to try to provide an excuse why peyton played so abysmally (yet again in another playoff game) might get the broncos in trouble.

  77. Those saying this isn’t his legs and has to be arm or neck because he has lost velocity and accuracy have obviously never played qb. Your legs are your balance and your drive. An inability to push off with the legs is most definitely a cause of these symptoms.

    Manning is most definitely on his way down. Father time is undefeated. But you don’t go from living legend to Tim Tebow overnight. If you assume that he loses 10-20% of who and what he is physically between this year and next, from natural age progression, a healthy Manning would still be a top 8 qb in the NFL.

    I think the question comes down to what he wants. And that’s just the way it should be.

  78. Kind of interesting – yet sad – that three of the QBs who played yesterday were clearly playing at much less than their best due to injuries. Peyton looked like an old man (which he is), but Romo and Rodgers did too.

    It really is a grind of a season, with only those who are not only tough but lucky coming out on top at the end.

  79. Time catches up with all athletes, even the great ones. Watching Manning this season,, it was obvious that he was not the same quarterback as in the past. He couldn’t throw the deep ball and even his mid range passes wobbled. He may still be effective for some team next season, but not at the salary that he’d have to be paid….unless he’s willing to take a big pay cut, which his ego probably won’t let him.

  80. In the works of singer Dave Mason applying to rockers, (i am applying to quarterbacks), rockers is an attitude, not an age, well for Peyton, quarterbacking is an attitude, not an age and Peyton sucks on all accounts; Thighgate, and his collusion with John Elway, how could the Broncos get rid of a coach as good as John Fox? why because Peyton and Elway have issues???? I have been a Bronco fan for over 40 years (since Craig Morton was QB) and frankly since what they did to Tim Tebow I think this team has made some horrible decisions. I hope the Chicago Bears appreciate John Fox more, he is a great man.

  81. Strain – totally believable. Full tear – no way. No chance he’d have been cleared to play with a torn quad. You can’t even walk with a torn quad.

  82. Peyton’s problems seem beyond injuries. He seems to have lost nerve. He gets rattled easier, hampering his ability to see open receivers. In the playoff game, he threw lots of passes with little chance of completion. With such a strong group of receivers and overall reasonable protection, he should be able to find open receivers instead of forcing throws to heavily covered receivers.

    He did not seem the same mentally after the St. Louis game. Fox changed the offense to relieve pressure on Manning, trying to make the run game loosen defenses for the passing game. Manning offenses have been known for the passing threat opening the field for the running game. Manning looked especially weak in red zone after the St. Louis game.

    The falloff in his nerve seems a sign that time has caught up with him. He can play next season and probably have success if the team does not disintegrate over the coaching changes and free agency.

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