The Broncos lost badly at home on Sunday to the Chiefs, in a game that included the benching of quarterback Peyton Manning.
After the game, coach Gary Kubiak said Peyton will still play if healthy. Peyton was reluctant to blame the performance on not being healthy.
“I have a really hard time using that as any type of excuse,” Manning told reporters after the game. “I had some injuries during the week. [Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos] and the training staff worked overtime to get me to feeling like I thought like I could go out there and play. Obviously, you have to give a lot of feedback yourself, and I felt good enough to go out there and play. If you look back on it now, I have a hard time saying that’s why I played badly. Could that be the reason? I guess it always could be. But to me, that’s an easy way out. That’s kind of an easy line to say after the fact. So I was very honest with [Antonopulos] and coach Kubiak that I felt like I could go. I wanted to go, I wanted to be out there for the team. I did feel like we had some guys down, with [Aqib] Talib down and DeMarcus [Ware] down, and weren’t really sure Emmanuel [Sanders] was going to be able to play. So I wanted to be out there. I was as honest with them with the feedback as I could give them, and certainly did not play well and am disappointed about that.”
So will Manning be healthy enough to face the Bears and his former head coach, John Fox?
“I talked to coach Kubiak and obviously he wants to see how I feel,” Manning said. “You know, tomorrow and during the week, I think I’d like to be able to practice during the week. I didn’t practice until Friday and that’s not ideal for anybody to go out and play, and so I’d like to be healthier to practice some on Wednesday, like I have in the past, and on Thursday. So we’ll address that when those days get there. That would be the goal to get back to a normal practice schedule, so we’ll see how that goes tomorrow.”
Manning entered the game with foot an rib injuries. The real question is whether he emerged from Sunday’s contest any better or any worse than before the game.