ENGLEWOOD, Colo.—Peyton Manning does not relish the relinquishing of reps. But under head coach Gary Kubiak, Manning has been asked to take a seat more than he ever has in his career. And it's for his own good.
Although he traveled with the team and participated in warm-ups as if he were going to start, Manning did not play a snap vs. the Seahawks last Friday. Brock Osweiler got the start and played very well.
“Yeah, he's going to play," Kubiak said. "I'd say that he'll play quite a bit. Is that a quarter and a half? Is that a half? Is that a quarter? I don't know. I'll see how the game goes, but I want them to get a bunch of snaps under their belt. We have some guys that have not been working together that need to work together.”
Kubiak also talked about whether or not we can expect to see Demaryius Thomas on Saturday, too.
“I think he's ready to go play as long as Peyton plays, but we'll sit down and talk about that," Kubiak said. "I don't think there's anything he can't handle that I've asked him to do.”
Having Thomas on the field should help Manning settle in. The purpose behind all the rest Manning's been getting has two objectives. One—to keep the 39-year-old future Hall-of-Famer fresh. Two—to give Osweiler as many reps as possible to evaluate his long-term value to the team.
Manning wilted down the stretch last season in large part due to a significant quad injury. He is known for his explosive starts to each season, but his numbers tend to dwindle later in the year. In 2015, Osweiler will enter the game if the Broncos have a big lead, even if it means inserting him in the third quarter.
Resting an arm that has thrown thousands of passes in an 18-year career should serve to keep Manning fresh down the stretch and into the playoffs, when the chips go down.
On Saturday, fans will finally get to see an extended look at Manning in his new offensive environs. Although what we've seen from him in trianing camp has been phenomenal, it will be even more telling to see how he looks in Kubiak's sytem against outside competition in a live-game setting.
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