Peyton Manning Will Back Up Brock Osweiler In Week 17

For the first time in his professional career, Peyton Manning will be a backup.

The good news for Peyton Manning is that he's healthy enough to dress on gameday. The bad news, he'll be a backup to Brock Osweiler in the Denver Broncos Week 17 regular season finale. 

Head coach Gary Kubiak announced the news in his Wednesday presser. Manning hasn't played a down, nor dressed, since the Broncos' Week 10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs

“We visited this morning," Kubiak said. "Peyton will be a part of practice today. He'll go back to work with the football team this week. I'm encouraged by that. We had a good week last week. Hopefully we have a good week this week and he's available. If everything goes [well], which I have no reason to think that it should not go well this week, he would be the backup to [QB] Brock [Osweiler] in the game. We'll take it a step forward today. Like I said, we're not going to do much, but we'll have two good days of practice on Thursday and Friday. That's where we are."

Manning has suffered from a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot. In his absence, Osweiler has gone 4-2 as a starter, with a couple of very impressive wins under his belt vs. New England and most recently vs. Cincinnati

Osweiler is playing with a grade-two separated left shoulder — his non-throwing arm. He was pretty banged up in the Broncos' gritty win over Cincinnati, so it's not out of the question that the Broncos might have to turn to Manning, if Osweiler aggravates or further injures it. 

At 39 years old, Manning's best football is behind him. But the Broncos could do a lot worse than having a five-time NFL MVP backing up their young quarterback. When asked whether Manning's role as a backup is short term and if we can soon expect him to step back into his starting role, Kubiak pumped the brakes. 

“I don't want to go that far," Kubiak said. "Like I said, Brock is our quarterback. Nothing has changed from that standpoint. Peyton's availability, that is a change for us. Hopefully things go well this week. Let's keep going, but everybody knows and the team knows that Brock is our quarterback. He's doing a hell of a job. Let's just keep moving forward and we'll go from there.”

For his part, Manning told ESPN on Sunday morning that he's willing to do whatever the team needs of him. 

"I gotta do whatever coach feels is best for the team," Manning said. "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."

Regarding the news that he would be a backup for the first time in his career, Manning said, "I will do what I can to help Brock and the team." 

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Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.

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