Broncos’ Peyton Manning: thumb “sore” but otherwise “OK”
Peyton Manning, who sported a piece of white tape on the right thumbnail, took part in a complete practice on Wednesday, according to Denver Broncos coach John Fox.
The 36-year-old Peyton Manning injured his right thumbnail after smacking it into the helmet of New Orleans Saints defensive end Martez Wilson after completing a pass to receiver Erick Decker at the end of first-half of Sunday’s game. Later, Peyton Manning had two touchdowns in the second-half of Denver Broncos’ 34-14 home win against the New Orleans Saints. It was the only hit that Peyton Manning took during the game, but ironically threatened to sideline the Denver Broncos starting quarterback for this entire week or even beyond.
Although the thumb injury didn’t seemingly appear too serious the Denver Broncos were concerned regarding the capacity at which Peyton Manning could operate his throwing arm. After Wednesday’s practice the Denver Broncos may no longer have a reason for much concern.
"It's OK, it's OK," said Peyton Manning. "It's sore, but just more of an irritant than anything."
There were already speculations regarding Peyton Manning’s’ return from a season-ending neck nerve injury after he signed with the Denver Broncos in March. However, Peyton Manning’s performance over the first two months has been on the mark and beyond the expectation of a few people, as he easily slipped into the leadership role.
"Well, certainly, it was a lot of unknown before this season…This is a new team and nobody knew how this team would form chemistry-wise,” said Peyton Manning. “I mentioned early on that I’m feeling my way out. We’re finding out our identity. I think we are still doing that. I think we have it in some places."
However things were dangerously close to spiraling out of control for the Denver Broncos (4-3), who are currently at the top of the AFC West, if Peyton Manning’s’ injury had been a tad more severe. You could say Peyton Manning got lucky by a few inches. The situation would have been whole lot different if he’d banged his knuckles instead of thumb against Martez Wilson’s helmet.
"It just shows that with injuries,” stated Erik Decker after practice on Wednesday, “it's a matter of inches — or centimeters.”
The Denver Broncos are slated to play the Cincinnati Bengals (3-4) at Sunday, but Peyton Manning insisted his team shouldn’t be overconfident against the Bengals since “their record is misleading.”
“They play in a physical division (AFC North). The teams they play are good running teams and have a physical defense,” stated Peyton Manning. “Cincinnati matches that mold.”
“I'm not sure what's going on with their offense, but their defense is playing solid,” added Peyton Manning. “I think they're second in NFL in sacks (in reality third, 23 sacks), which has come in four-man rushes. They have multiple blitzes."