The curious case of Peyton Manning continues. The Denver Broncos fell to the Kansas City Chiefs and Sunday and the blame can be placed squarely on the shoulders of the quarterback as he tossed four interceptions and went 5-of-20 for just 35 yards. While he did set the NFL record for career passing yards, it will all be overlooked as the quarterback was benched in the third quarter for Brock Osweiler. However, according to head coach Gary Kubiak, if healthy, Manning gets the starting nod in Week 11.
Kubiak told Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post, that Manning is "our quarterback" and he will start if he is healthy. The bigger question is where or not he is healthy. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Manning is playing with a partially torn plantar fascia that puts his status in doubt for Week 11. Kubiak told the media that benching Manning was to protect him. The quarterback landed on the injury report this week for a foot problem that ruled as soreness. He also had rib issues. According to Manning, he is not using that as an excuse for poor play.
"I have a really hard time using that as any type of excuse," Manning said, via the Denver Post. "I had some injuries during the week. [Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos] and the training staff worked overtime to get me to feeling like I thought like I could go out there and play. Obviously, you have to give a lot of feedback yourself, and I felt good enough to go out there and play. If you look back on it now, I have a hard time saying that's why I played badly.
The Broncos will play the Chicago Bears in Week 11. Osweiler is ideally not the quarterback to get the starting nod, but at this point he might be better than Manning considering the injury clearly hampered his playing ability. The quarterback play was bad, but he also got very little help from his supporting case, mainly the run game. Ronnie Hillman produced just 42 yards while CJ Anderson had just nine. The lack of balance did not help the offense get moving. Emmanuel Sanders missed most of the day with a concussion issue. However, at the end of the day, this one falls on Manning and no one else.
It us understandable that the Broncos want to remain faithful to Manning. While most predict this is his last season, benching a future Hall of Famer is not easy. Osweiler is certainly not the face of the franchise, but Manning is fading. According to the quarterback, he will talk things over with Kubiak and they will determine what is next.
"I talked to coach Kubiak and obviously he wants to see how I feel," Manning said, via ESPN.com. "You know, tomorrow and during the week, I think I'd like to be able to practice during the week. I didn't practice until Friday and that's not ideal for anybody to go out and play, and so I'd like to be healthier to practice some on Wednesday, like I have in the past, and on Thursday. So we'll address that when those days get there."