The Colts knew what Peyton Manning once was. The Broncos know what Peyton Manning is now. Those two players aren’t that dissimilar.
It’s the in between that not many people know about.
NFL Network will air a piece Saturday morning at 10 a.m. mountain time to enlighten that unknown, that mysterious segment of Manning’s career.
Manning missed the entirety of the 2011 season due to a neck injury, and multiple surgeries to repair a damaged nerve that caused weakness in his throwing arm. His future uncertain, the Colts cut the four-time NFL most valuable player.
“I told Peyton, ‘We’re not wondering whether you are going to get back, this is back,’” said David Cutcliffe, who coached Manning at the University of Tennessee, in the feature when looking at film of him in early February of 2012.
Denver scooped up what was presumed ‘damaged-goods’ and under Manning the Broncos flourished. He has the second best completion percentage, second most touchdowns and yards in his career (runner up in each category in a different year) continue to lead Denver into the playoffs.
His recovery, and the caliber in which he nearly instantaneously came back, following such a rare procedure, spinal fusion, was not well documented until now.