Manning not healthy enough to be in backup role


Peyton Manning isn't healthy enough to be considered for a backup role at this point, but if he is good enough to return this season don't expect to see him holding a clipboard.

Manning's injury continues to keep him sidelined, but even if he gets healthy prior the the end of the season, the veteran wants to start, not backup Brock Osweiler.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday on NFL Network's GameDay Morning on a "uncomfortable and difficult situation in Denver," when it comes to the quarterback.

"It is a trying time for Peyton Manning, who has always been a starter his entire career," Rapoport said. "It does not sound like he is inclined to be Brock Osweiler's backup. That is one issue and one I'm told he's pretty serious about."

Given Manning's pedigree and place in the record books, it's not difficult to imagine that he doesn't want to be a caddie for an up-and-coming quarterback.

John Elway immediately denied any insinuation that Manning has said he wouldn't be a backup.

Beyond Manning's pride, the more pressing issue is his health.

The quarterback isn't healthy enough to get reps in practice to even be considered as a backup at this stage.

"He had a setback this week, did not practice Friday, which, of course, officially is the reason he is not Osweiler's backup," Rapoport said. "But from what I am told he didn't do very much in practice at all, really just took individual reps, didn't do anything with team. Until he gets real backup reps, even maybe starter reps, we are not going to see him on the field, which does not bode well for his Week 16 availability regardless of how Osweiler plays."

There was some thought entering this week that if Osweiler didn't play well and the Broncos lost their second straight game, Denver could turn back to Manning to close out the season.

Given what Rapoport reported, Mannings inability to practice and the fact that Archie Manning revealed this week that Peyton's been dealing with the injury for months, it sounds unlikely we'll see Manning again for the regular season.

Would the Broncos then turn to a 39-year-old quarterback who has sat more than a month and isn't ideal for the coach's offense to try and make a postseason run? It seems implausible.

Barring some turnaround in health, it's possible we've seen the last of Peyton Manning on the Broncos' sidelines. Both sides could decide it's best to divorce in the offseason.