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No sick day for Broncos' Manning, who dominated Chargers

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Peyton Manning scoffs at your Gatorade and chicken noodle soup.

Donald Miralle/Getty Images

When you're sick with the flu, your mom is on coddle duty. The mom-doctor's orders: plenty of chicken noodle soup, maybe some saltines. All the fluids you can physically ingest, and then some more. A thermometer always within arm's reach, because hey, maybe your fever got worse/better in the last 5 minutes.

You lie in bed and bemoan your existence, rest up, and hopefully get ready to face the world again some time this lifetime.

The flu is the worst.

If you're Peyton Manning, and you have the flu, you take four IVs in less than 24 hours. You stretch and do some jogging. You put on professional football pads and professional football pants. You play professional football against 11 professional football men trying to hit you and your blockers and your targets.

If you're Peyton Manning, and you have the flu, you have the fourth-best game of your season, according to PFF grade (+2.3), QBR (93.2), and traditional passer rating (125.6).

You throw a freakin' block that nearly goes for a touchdown.

Not bad for a sick day.

"I had a rough night. I'm not going to lie," Manning said after the Broncos' 22-10 win against the Chargers. "It was not an enjoyable night and I don't know what happened. It (the illness) just came out of nowhere."

Manning said he had four IVs between Saturday night and Sunday morning and that his dehydrated state may have had a role to play in the thigh injury he suffered on a rollout to Emmanuel Sanders (a few plays before the blocking play). "A Tennessee education only goes so far, but there are probably some parallels there," Manning deadpanned.

Manning's situation was most dire at halftime; he departed for the locker room immediately following his block for what he thought was a C.J. Anderson touchdown, and CBS reported as the third quarter began that it would be Brock Osweiler playing and Manning riding the bench.

"I was a little worried," Demaryius Thomas told NBC immediately after the game. "I didn't know why he went back (to the locker room). I knew he was sick and I was hearing something else. But it was good to have him back on the field."

Manning's return brought the Broncos their only touchdown of the game, a 28-yard catch-and-run pass to Thomas in the third quarter. Manning averaged 11.65 yards per pass on the day, his second-highest average of the 2014 season.

All on a day where you or I would have called in sick and been less accurate trying to throw the blanket off the bed.

"He's tough," said Thomas. "He's a fighter and he loves the game. So I respect him for coming out and playing tonight, because he was really sick."