Hurting Manning sits, Osweiler to start
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Peyton Manning won’t suit up against the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
Broncos coach Gary Kubiak is going with backup Brock Osweiler as he tries to get his 39-year-old quarterback healthy.
”I’m disappointed that I’m injured,” a somber Manning said at his locker. ”I’m disappointed in the game yesterday. I will try to take advantage of this week and try to get to feeling better and getting healthy.”
Kubiak said he met with Manning for an hour Monday morning and told him of his decision – which Manning didn’t like.
”I’ve never met a player who agreed to that,” Kubiak said. ”I mean, no, he’s up there today and he wants to go, he wants to do everything he can for his football team and I knew that and I expected that.
”I tried to express to him my concern to getting him back to himself and feeling better and I think he understands the position I’m in and I sure as hell understand the type of person he is and the player he is.”
Manning won’t practice this week nor will he suit up against the Bears, when rookie Trevor Siemian will be Osweiler’s backup, Kubiak said.
Manning will spend lots of time with team athletic trainer Steve Antonopulos this week.
”All the attention is toward getting him healthy,” Kubiak said.
Kubiak wouldn’t speculate how long Manning might be out, saying, ”our focus is not going past today or the Chicago Bears. We’re all in this week as a football team to get better and get ready to go play.”
The only time Manning ever missed a start in his 18-year career came when he sat out the entire 2011 season following a series of neck surgeries that ultimately led to his departure from Indianapolis and his signing with the Broncos.
So, Osweiler’s first NFL start will come on his 25th birthday. He’s a fourth-year pro from Arizona State whom GM John Elway selected in the second round of the 2012 draft with the explicit intention of serving as Manning’s protege and eventual successor.
”First of all, it’s very exciting,” Osweiler said. ”But at the same time, Peyton is still our guy. He’s one of the best ever to do it. He’s been extremely supportive of me ever since Day 1. He’s taught me so many things. So, I’m going to continue to support him.
”I’m the starter for this week at Chicago, but that’s all it is. We’re focused on this week, then we’ll re-evaluate next week. But I stand by Peyton and support him 100 percent.”
Osweiler’s first start comes against former Broncos coach John Fox and his staff, who know all about his strengths and tendencies.
Manning had the worst game of his career Sunday in Denver’s 29-13 loss to Kansas City. He completed 5 of 20 passes for 35 yards with four interceptions and had a 0.0 passer rating.
Manning is dealing with a variety of ailments, including a torn plantar fascia in his foot, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Monday. He also has a sore right shoulder and a ribcage injury. He went for an MRI on his ribs Monday but didn’t have the results.
After the game Sunday, Kubiak said he should have held Manning out against Kansas City but reiterated that Manning was his quarterback and would start next week if healthy.
He changed his mind after thinking about it overnight and watching the game film.
”I just think it’s the grind of the season, a bunch of bumps and bruises and obviously the shoulder, the foot bothering him coming out of Indianapolis and had some rib issues,” Kubiak said. ”… So, I think it’s a combination of things. And with that didn’t come all the normal preparation but you know he was doing everything he could do to play for his football team.
”And he would do it again this week, too. I can tell you that. He would do it this week, too. And I know that, and I respect that, but I feel like I need to make this decision and I know through my conversations with him and everything, I have no doubt that it’s the best decision as we move forward this week.”
The news didn’t really catch players off-guard.
”Peyton’s banged up man,” cornerback Aqib Talib said. ”I know he seems like he’s Superman, but he’s banged up. So, he’s got to get healthy like everybody else who’s banged up.”
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