The Denver Broncos are in the midst of a historic start thanks to one legendary quarterback out of the University of Tennessee. On Sunday, the team plans to honor another local legend who began his career as a QB for the Volunteers -- recently retired Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton.
Yesterday, the Denver Post reported that the Broncos will honor Helton before Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Helton -- who played quarterback alongside Peyton Manning at Tennessee, where the two became close friends -- retired this fall after a 17-year career with the Rockies.
According to the Post, Helton will be named an honorary captain and join Manning on the field for the pregame coin toss. A montage of his highlights will also screen on the Jumbotrons at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Helton and Manning’s friendship played a role in Peyton’s decision to sign with the Broncos after being released by the Indianapolis Colts. Manning said that during the 2011 NFL lockout, Helton invited him to use the Rockies facility to rehab from his neck injury,
"For him to get on the phone and call me and invite me out here to work out with the Rockies, in private, and use the Rockies trainers, I’ll always be indebted to him," Manning said about Helton last month. "I was in a kind of a weird place, an unknown. I had really nobody to turn to medically because of the lockout. What Todd did, that really kind of gave me some good direction. I’ll always be indebted to him for that."