Ryan said on PFT Live this morning that he reached out to Manning after he heard the news that Manning has been benched after starting 210 consecutive games, the second-longest streak for a quarterback in NFL history.
“I feel for him,” Ryan said. “I really do. For how consistent he’s been in his career, for what he’s done for that city, for that organization, it’s hard. I really feel for him. I’ve known Eli for a long time, he’s an absolute stud of a competitor and he’s even better off the field. So I hurt for him right now. I texted him last night just wishing him the best and letting him know I was thinking of him.”
The 32-year-old Ryan said he hopes to play as long as he can but knows the same could happen to him some day.
“Everybody knows that that is possible,” he said. “If it can happen to a guy like Eli or so many different players throughout the course of history, seeing how things end, that’s the scary part. You don’t allow yourself to go there as a player. You’re so focused on week-to-week and trying to take care of business this week. I’m not too worried about hopefully four or five years down the line or further than that, but it’s tough. The ends are usually not pretty and it’s a tough situation.”
Eventually, every player is replaced. Some day someone else will be the Falcons’ franchise quarterback. Ryan just has to hope it doesn’t happen as abruptly for him as it happened for Manning.