With controversy swirling around the quarterback regarding a report that he allegedly received HGH in 2011, which he termed "garbage," Manning's current injury seems secondary.
During an interview Sunday with ESPN's Lisa Salters, the Denver Broncos' quarterback said he feels good after suffering a setback last week as he tries to return from a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot.
"I've had a good week, to tell you the truth," Manning said. "This is my fourth day throwing and haven't had any setbacks, which is encouraging. I had some soreness last week before the end of the week, I haven't had that this week."
Manning said he would sit down with coach Gary Kubiak and discuss the plan for next week on Tuesday.
Manning said he's making progress and if the team needs him to play in Week 17 versus the San Diego Chargers, he feels like he'd be ready.
"I got to do whatever coach feels is best for the team," Manning said when asked if he wants to be the starter if he returns. "It's been an interesting year, I'm not going to lie about that. I've had a good attitude about it ... I've learned a lot about myself. I've been a good teammate. I've tried to help Brock in anyway I can. It's new to me. It's new to me. So I'll do whatever is best for the team come next week. If they need me to play and be in there, then I'll be ready. If they don't feel the best for the team, then I'll respect that decision and do what I can to help the team."
Before that happens Manning must practice next week.
"Obviously this is not ideal, this is not a game out here." Manning said about his side-throwing session Sunday. He then pointed out the equipment and operations managers he's throwing to during his workouts. "... these guys would be the MVP of their flag football teams. I need to get back. I need to take the next step and be on the practice field. But I have pushed the limits, pushed the envelop this week, with my throwing, with my drill work. I'm a pretty good quarterbacks coach and I know how to put myself through trials. And so I've had a good week, but I hope to get back on the practice field next week and then hopefully get on the field."
Kubiak wouldn't discuss Manning's future on Saturday or whether the outcome of Monday night's game would determine whether Manning would return this season.
Denver could earn a first-round playoff bye by winning out. They could also miss the postseason altogether with the wrong outcomes.