Peyton Manning will step on the field Thursday night against the Chicago Bears for a live football game for the first time since Rex Ryan's New York Jets upset the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Divisional Round 19 months ago.
This is the moment I've been waiting for. It's the moment Manning can't truly prepare for in practice. Can Manning take a hit?
We might not find that out Thursday because the Denver Broncos are sure to be careful with Manning and not get him overexposed. Like most starting quarterbacks, he won't be on the field much.
"It's gonna come down to how much our first offensive line plays," Broncos head honcho John Elway told NFL.com and NFL Network reporter Albert Breer. "I asked (Manning) the other day, 'one or two series?' I think you get a feel for it during the game.
"If things go well right off the bat, have a nice scoring drive, then get him out. You wanna get something going to where they have a good drive. You don't want to have three three-and-outs. You wanna get some confidence, get some first downs, and maybe put some points on the board. If we do that, get him out, and go to the next week."