Peyton Manning has been an everyday attraction for NFL fans and he has made the Papa John’s commercials even better. Manning has also turned the Nationwide jingle into something that has become a part of life, no matter how annoying that might seem. But his career is now in doubt due to a rib injury and a partially torn plantar fascia in his right foot, and Sunday marked the first time in his career that he was benched during a game.
According to a report by the Associated Press, Manning has dealt with the plantar fascia injury for a couple of weeks and aggravated it when the Broncos played against the Colts in Indianapolis because of the artificial turf at Lucas Oil Field. The AP report also said that “…coach Gary Kubiak said he regretted starting Manning against the Chiefs but had done so out of deference to the five-time MVP.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter had this to say about the plantar fascia injury to Manning: “Sources told ESPN that Manning has battled plantar fasciitis for weeks but is believed to have aggravated the injury against Indianapolis on Nov. 8, resulting in a partial tear of his plantar fascia. Almost always, a partial tear is more painful to play with than a complete tear.”
With a career-low 0.0 quarterback rating on Sunday against the Chiefs (5/20 for 35 yards and four INTs), there is a chance that the Broncos will elect to go with backup Brock Osweiler when they play the Chicago Bears this week. But Kubiak is leaning towards starting Manning if he is healthy.
“If [Manning’s] healthy and ready to go, Peyton is our quarterback,” Kubiak said Sunday via ESPN.
The biggest question now is whether Manning’s career is in doubt, or if he will be able to finish out this season and then begin to question his near future. With the blunt honesty in which Manning speaks, it seems that he felt that the loss to the Chiefs was mainly due to him playing injured, and he made this statement after the loss.
“Oh, I can’t … I don’t know,” Manning said with a sigh. “I can’t say that. I guess that’s an observation. I just didn’t — I thought I felt good enough to play, that’s what I thought. Maybe that was the wrong — maybe that was a false feeling by me or whatever that was. … I was honest with them with how I felt, thought I was good enough to play.
“Maybe looking back that was the wrong — I had the wrong indication by me. And by going out there trying to help the team, I ended up hurting the team. I’m disappointed about that,” via ESPN.
It has been an honor to watch Manning play for the Tennessee Volunteers, Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos in his career, but injuries tend to take a lot longer the older someone gets. While Manning can still play, this season has been proof that it is about time to hang up his cleats and call it a great career.