Manning's absence extended as he's fitted with walking cast
Nov. 25, 2015
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Peyton Manning will spend the next week in a walking cast and is expected to miss at least two more games with a torn plantar fascia in his left foot.
Manning missed the Denver Broncos' 17-15 win at Chicago last week when his longtime backup Brock Osweiler won his first NFL start. Manning stayed back in Denver to continue getting treatment.
On Monday, Manning flew to Charlotte, North Carolina, to seek a second opinion from renowned foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson, who recommended the five-time MVP spend at least the next week in a walking cast before beginning additional rehab.
"We expect him to be unavailable for at least a couple of games," coach Gary Kubiak told the team's website Tuesday.
That means Manning, who was benched after throwing his fourth interception against Kansas City on Nov. 15, will miss Denver's game against New England on Sunday night as well as the game at San Diego on Dec. 6, at the very least.
Kubiak had already said Osweiler was his starter this week when the Broncos (8-2) host the unbeaten Patriots (10-0). That was both a reflection of Osweiler's performance and Manning's health. Osweiler threw for 250 yards, two TDs and no interceptions at Chicago — Denver's first game without a turnover all season.
Manning will be able to attend meetings and some workouts this week, Kubiak said. He had excused Manning from practices and meetings last week although the quarterback did attend Friday's workout.
The Broncos only have one other quarterback on the roster, rookie Trevor Siemian. With Manning's absence being extended, they're planning to work out former Vikings QB Christian Ponder on Wednesday.
Manning has had a difficult season. After taking a $4 million pay cut over the winter, he and Kubiak spent all offseason and the first two months of the season trying to mesh offensive philosophies, and it usually wasn't very pretty.
He's thrown for just nine touchdowns with an NFL-high 17 interceptions. In his first three years in Denver, he totaled 136 TD throws and just 36 interceptions.
And his career-low 67.6 passer rating is lower than Tim Tebow's 72.9 in 2011 that forced GM John Elway to go after Manning in free agency in 2012.
On Monday, Kubiak blasted as "totally false" a report after the Broncos beat the Bears that Manning plans to play in 2016 even if it's not for the Broncos.
"For there to be any rumors or anything he said that his mind-set is anywhere other than getting healthy and helping this football team, I can tell you is totally false," Kubiak said.
"I visit with this guy on a regular basis and we talk all the time. I can tell you his mind-set is a day at a time trying to get healthy and all those things and help his football (team). That's all he talks to me about. That's all that's important to him right now."
Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton