A report has broken through the din of the recent Peyton Manning HGH scandal that could determine the fate of the Denver Broncos 2015 season. Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reported Sunday morning that the Broncos are "Brock Osweiler's team going forward".
"Early in the week it looked like there was a chance Peyton Manning could regain the starting role for the Denver Broncos and that was absolutely put on hold," said Glazer "This is now Brock Osweiler's team. Brock Osweiler has a grade-two separated shoulder, yet he is the guy. I think John Elway is helping make that decision, so much so that when Peyton Manning is practicing, he's not even with the rest of the team so as not to be a distraction. This is Brock Osweiler's team the rest of the way, barring some sort of collapse."
It makes sense. CBS4's Vic Lombardi joined us on the In the Huddle podcast this week and I asked him the question, why don't the Broncos just place Peyton on injured reserve? It's a salient question, considering how much time Manning has missed and the fact that he had such a setback in his recovery last Friday.
To paraphrase, Lombardi's opinion is that the Broncos want him healthy as an insurance policy in the postseason, should Osweiler fail or get injured. Now, considering Osweiler's grade-two separated shoulder, it's no wonder the Broncos training staff are working furiously to get Manning back to functional health.
If the Broncos make the postseason and Osweiler is one sack away from seriously aggravating his separated shoulder, Trevor Siemian would be the only option to step in, if Manning were to be placed on I.R. You can argue all you want that Manning deserves to be the starter, if healthy, and I agree with you.
But the "if healthy" caveat is the key. Even if they get Manning functional, he's likely not going to be the quarterback Broncos Country have come to know over the last four seasons. The best prescription for Manning's plantar fascia tear is time. And that's not something the Sheriff or the Broncos have in abundance.
He hopes to be on the practice field next week with the team. For his part, Manning talked about his progress Sunday morning with ESPN and what his role will be with the Broncos moving forward.
"I've had a good week, to tell you the truth," Manning said. "This is my fourth day throwing and I haven't had any setbacks, which is encouraging. You know, I had some soreness last week, towards the end of the week and I haven't had that this week. So, I've been in communication with Coach Kubiak. He watches all my throws and gives me feedback, so this'll be my last day throwing of the week and [I'll] be there to help the team tomorrow night and then sit down with Coach Kubiak Tuesday and make a plan for next week."
"I gotta do whatever coach feels is best for the team," Manning continued. "It's been an interesting year. I'm not going to lie about that. I've had a good attitude about it. I've learned a lot about myself. I've been a good teammate. I've tried to help Brock in anyway I can. It's new to me. It's new to me. So, I'll do whatever is best for the team come next week. If they need me to play and be in there, then I'll be ready. But if they don't feel the best for the team, then I'll respect that decision and do whatever I can to help the team."
We don't know absolutely if Glazer's report is true. Listening to Manning Sunday morning, it's clear that he's at least hopeful that he can return to the starting lineup, which signifies to me that if the Broncos have made a decision to move forward with Osweiler as the starter, that decision hasn't been relayed to Manning.
We'll know more by Wednesday of next week.
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Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.