"Is something wrong with Peyton Manning?" That's been the question on the tip of Broncos Country's tongues for the past two months. Everybody from our own staff and readers to ex-NFL doctors on Twitter have debated the question.
If you believe Adam Schefter (note: always believe Adam Schefter), the answer is a definite "yes."
Broncos QB Peyton Manning played Sunday’s Divisional Playoff loss and the past month of the season with a torn right quad, per two sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 12, 2015
Manning has been on the Broncos' injury report since Week 15 (Dec. 14th) at the Chargers, when he was severely dehydrated with the flu and even missed a few plays of the game with a thigh injury. Connecting the dots, this thigh injury was ostensibly a quad tear that lingered into the playoffs.
"I had that one thigh injury that I had in the San Diego game," Manning said after the loss Sunday. "It's hung around but I felt like I tried to manage it. I felt like I could manage it. Completed some passes, won some games with it. So just-it hung around, just that one thigh, but there is nothing more to it than that. And I thought-felt good with it coming into the day."
John Fox dismissed the concern, saying Manning was healthy enough to play.
"I mean look, everybody at playoff time, end of the season—you’ve got to define (healthy)," Fox said. "It's a combative, physical game. I think it would be a better question to ask him, but he’s definitely healthy enough to play the game."
Now the question will be if Manning can return healthy enough to play the game in 2015 and, at 39 years old, stay that way. And if he even wants to try.
Apparently a thigh is not a quad, there's a "big difference" between the two (is there?), and the Broncos could catch some heat for hiding the extent of Manning's injury.
NFL teams are required to disclose injuries. Big difference between "he's got a thigh" and a torn quad. I knew we'd get this today.— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) January 12, 2015
If a dude is playing with a torn quad, hell no I don't expect him to run for it on 3rd and 5. Credit to Peyton for playing. However ...— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) January 12, 2015
still against the rules not to declare the injury. They know it.— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) January 12, 2015
Peyton Manning initially tore his right quad Dec. 14 in win over Chargers, per sources. MRI back in Denver confirmed tear.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 12, 2015