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Peyton Manning to play full first quarter, report says

We caught a glimpse of Peyton Manning a week ago. The Denver Broncos are about to give us a longer look.

Manning led only one drive in the preseason opener, but the Broncos' starting passer is expected to take the field for an entire quarter and possibly a series into the second period against the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday, The Denver Post reported.

"Yeah, I don't know if it'll be a half," Manning said Friday, according to The Associated Press. "But it's still not a whole game, so I still think that it is a little bit more pressure that you're only in there for a certain amount of plays and you want them all to go well."

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It comes as no great surprise, but it suggests we'll see Manning go to work against a starting defense, develop some rhythm with his receivers and -- gasp -- maybe take a few hits.

That's the lingering mystery surrounding Manning: Can he absorb punishment? Manning, probably more than anyone, wants to prove it's a nonissue.

"It's not hanging over me," Manning said. "It seems to be a hot topic. I had a lady the other day who told me, 'Everybody can't wait to see you get hit.' Thank you. ... I have played football for a long time and when it happens, I plan on getting up and hopefully completing a pass on the next play and moving the chains and at some point hopefully you all can stop asking me that question."

Along with his durability, Manning's arm strength remains in question. NFL.com and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport proposed the following theory: (1) After watching him play, Rapoport believes Manning's arm is "mediocre at best." (2) Meanwhile, John Elway claims Manning is winging the ball with the same power he exhibited in 2009 and 2010. (3) Both observations are true, because Manning's arm strength already was in decline by 2009.

Manning still can produce -- he threw for 4,700 yards in 2010 -- but the arm strength question already has been answered.

All eyes were fixed on Manning as he strolled onto Soldier Field to face the Chicago Bears a week ago. Don't expect that to change Saturday night in Denver.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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