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Peyton Manning played vs. Colts with quad strain

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The discussion surrounding Peyton Manning's performance over the last few weeks might need to be framed differently now.

NFL Media's Albert Breer reported Monday, per a team source, Manning was diagnosed with a quad strain back in December but kept the details largely to himself.

The 38-year-old completed 77 of 121 passes for 990 yards, three touchdowns and six interceptions during the month of December, which bled into a performance Sunday night in which he completed just 56 percent of his passes and threw for just one touchdown during a 24-13 loss to the Colts.

Of course, Manning himself will not use this as an excuse. Even if it puts a lot of Denver's recent offensive experiments in context, the Broncos still missed out on the conference title game and a repeat shot at the Super Bowl.

Manning was non-committal about returning for the 2015 season when he spoke after the game, and maybe his current state of mind had to do with it. Not only was he unable to perform up to his standards, but he was likely in a good deal of pain.

Would he come back next year knowing something similar could happen again?

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