Peyton Manning without question is one of the greatest football players to play in the NFL, but his arm strength and overall health has been a major cause of concern since his 2011 neck surgery, which effectively ended his stint in Indianapols. This season, Manning’s roller coaster health prompted Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak to sit Manning in favor of the inexperienced Brock Osweiler until he fully recovered from his ailments. Osweiler, who in turn struggled, was swapped for Manning in the regular season finale against the San Diego Chargers, and an apparently rejuvenated Manning led the Broncos to four scoring drives in route to a 27-20 victory. His passes seemed to have more zip and were delivered more accurately, and it seems that was enough for Manning to regain Kubiak’s trust.
“I feel really good about this,” Kubiak said Thursday. “I feel good about how far Peyton has come, where he’s at physically, mentally, everything. I could see it happening the last two weeks. I’m excited for him to get going.”
Manning also feels confident in his ability. Can’t blame him, he’s spent over a month resting and rehabbing.
“I wouldn’t have told Coach Kubiak I was ready to dress out last Sunday had I not felt good,” Manning said Thursday. “I felt like I put it through a lot of tests during my rehab and tried to really test it, so I felt good going into the game Sunday, had no issues coming out [of the game].”
On January 17th, the Broncos–who have a first-round bye and don’t play in any of these weekend’s Wild Card games–will play either the Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers or Kansas City Chiefs in Denver.