Peyton Manning: Broncos QB throwing again, return soon?


Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning resumed throwing at practice this week, and might be nearing a return to the field…

Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak was pretty vague about it, but quarterback Peyton Manning has returned to the field — albeit on a limited basis — and is throwing the football again, doing work on the field for the first time in what we assume has been about a month.

“Yeah, he worked out briefly this morning, did about a half hour of throwing and went through some drill work and stuff. We’ll see. We’re going day-to-day with that and see how he comes out of each day. Yes, there was some work done—field work.”

Kubiak also said there was no throwing outside for Manning, and that they have a ‘good process’ going right now with how they are incorporating him back into the mix. As for a timetable for his return? That’s really not of paramount concern right now, but it’s safe to say Brock Osweiler will not only be the starting quarterback this week, you could probably bet on him being back again next week as well for a showdown against Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers.

Realistically, could Manning return for the Broncos’ home game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football? Could he return for the season finale against the Chargers as a tune-up going into the playoffs and a potential bye week?

It seems like it’s progressing that way, at least. The Broncos have been very conservative about the timetable of bringing him back. Personally, I didn’t think he would be coming back this season once the team turned to Christian Ponder for veteran depth, but that has obviously changed significantly this week with Ponder’s release from the team.

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The biggest question surrounding Manning right now is whether or not he will play when he comes back. Brock Osweiler certainly hasn’t been putting the 2013 Manning to shame with his passing numbers through three starts, but he’s undefeated and has a chance to improve that mark to 4-0 against the Oakland Raiders.

Some of the biggest questions about Manning were answered from Osweiler in Manning’s absence:

Can he win in the cold?

Can he beat the Patriots?

Can he throw on the move?

Can he play under center?

Osweiler has done all of those things and the Broncos’ run game has improved. The offensive efficiency — at least in terms of turning the ball over and striking quickly — has been far better. There’s no question Manning was playing terribly when he was finally removed with his latest injury. The question is what kind of player will the Broncos have if/when he comes back?

With Brock Osweiler finding a groove here late in the season, helping lead the team to wins, you would hope this would be a tougher decision for Gary Kubiak than simply a seniority play whenever Manning is healthy enough to return to the field full-time.