Just a few weeks back, Denver Broncos quarterback, Peyton Manning expressed his frustration over reports on how rehab work on his injured foot was progressing and what he had planned for the remainder of the season and beyond 2016.
And following Sunday night’s 34-27 defeat at the hands of Pittsburgh, the legendary QB was even more frustrated. According to various media outlets, Manning has clearly told the franchise coaching staff and owners that he does not want to play second fiddle to someone, whether it is in practice sessions or when he is fully fit to return to the gridiron.
As he was leaving the locker room to speak with Steelers owner Dan Rooney, a reporter asked Manning if he had any response to the reports that had been circulating to which he said, “It’s bull—, and it’s insulting.”
When further asked if his comment was for the record, Manning said, “Yes, and I can’t say it any plainer that that.”
Make of it what you will! Either Manning was really sick of the constant media attention that has been given to his rehab and a possible change in role, or the quarterback was really unhappy about the recent changes in the starting lineup that threaten his position as an undisputed starter.
Regardless, Broncos executive VP of football operations and general manager John Elway informed media that Peyton has not informed anyone that he is unhappy with the recent changes.
When asked if Manning had made any declarations about having to content with a backup role, Broncos coach, Gary Kubiak stated that this was an incorrect assumption.
“That’s sad to hear. I’m going to tell you what: Hell no, no way. OK?” Kubiak said. “He’s working his tail off to get back on the field, that’s what he’s doing.”
Manning’s foot injury has been giving him a lot of trouble for a long time this season. Moreover, he suffered a tear in the plantar fascia near his left heel during the team’s loss in Indianapolis on November 8. He hasn’t played for the team since the November 15 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
And although he returned to practice last week, Manning missed practice on Friday because of some soreness which comes with age. His agent, Tom Condon, who has represented him throughout his NFL career, admits that his client is not healthy.
“Dr. (Robert) Anderson said if the injury lasts nine months to a year, he should consider surgery.
“During his 18 years in the NFL, he has and continues to be an extraordinary example of excellence as a player and teammate. For (anyone) to suggest that a healthy Peyton Manning wouldn’t help his team lacks integrity and fundamental knowledge of Peyton and what he stands for.”
And after being ruled out of Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh, Kubiak expects Manning to turn up for practice again in the coming week.
“Expectations are we’ll go back (to Denver), see where we are,” Kubiak said. “We had two good days of practice last week, so we’ll start over this week and see where we’re at.”