Broncos Breathe Sigh Of Relief About Manning’s Thumb

Broncos Breathe Sigh Of Relief About Manning’s Thumb
Sports

While the Denver Broncos are flying high and leading the AFC West after consecutive wins, they know that a single event could ruin everything. Denver can’t afford a serious injury to quarterback Peyton Manning.

The future Hall of Famer has re-established his place among the game’s elite quarterbacks and has turned the Denver offense into one of the league’s most potent almost overnight. All the while, the defense is finally functioning as it was intended, conceding yardage but forcing errant throws and mistakes to complement the up-tempo, Manning-paced offense.

But when Manning’s right thumb slammed against the helmet of the New Orleans Saints’ Martez Wilson late Sunday night, the Broncos had a brief glimpse into the abyss.

“I got nervous, but it didn’t look like it was anything too serious,” Broncos wide receiver Brandon Stokley said.

Only Manning’s thumbnail was damaged, and the quarterback didn’t miss a play. After Manning missed his next two passes to end the first half, he completed 10 of his first 11 throws after halftime, and Denver cruised to a 34-14 win.

The Broncos (4-3) climbed over .500 and into sole possession of first place in the division for the first time this year.

“(For) quarterbacks, probably the biggest fear is always the thumb on the helmet of the defensive lineman,” Manning said. “Mostly the nail, the fingernail. It’ll be sore (Monday), but I’m probably a little bit lucky.”

Wilson’s helmet appeared to glance off the lower bar of Manning’s facemask on the collision, which wasn’t enough to prevent a 23-yard completion to wide receiver Eric Decker near the left sideline. The Broncos ran the ball on their next four plays, and Manning went to the sideline to have his thumb examined by team medical personnel during the two-minute warning shortly after the hit.

The collision not only made the Broncos edgy, but it drew their ire — and it could lead to a conversation with the NFL office.

“I’m not really able to comment on what we turn in to the league or what we don’t, but that’s one we’ll look at closely,” Broncos coach John Fox said.

He could hardly be blamed for hypersensitivity where Manning and risks to the veteran’s health are concerned. Manning is on pace to shatter franchise single-season records in completions, completion percentage, yardage, touchdown passes and passer rating. The offense finally achieved harmonious balance against the Saints, turning in the franchise’s first game with 300 passing yards and 200 rushing yards since a 49-21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 30, 2005.

In the last six quarters, the Broncos have outscored the Chargers and Saints 69-14, outgained them 747 yards to 381, and averaged twice as many yards per play — 7.6 to 3.8. It’s the best all-around play the Broncos have seen since the 2005 season — the last time they went as far as the AFC Championship Game.

But if a bone in Manning’s thumb had borne the brunt of Wilson’s hit, and not his nail, the Broncos’ growing dreams would have been blown away. The Colts learned last year that replacing Manning on short notice was virtually impossible, as they finished 2-14. The Broncos hope they don’t have to find out.

Duncan Steel | Elite.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Share Tweet
React
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

Julian Sonny

From the sandy beaches of Hawaii, to the streets of New York: Julian has seen it all. His lifetime of travels has given him a broad scope of knowledge and an eclectic taste unlike any other in the tri-state area. Julian has often been compared to cultural icon, The Rock, because of his unequivocal work ethic and warrior-like stature.

More In Sports

Sports Liz Rowley

Surfing Legend Manages To Surf Above The Wave, Not On It (Video)

This video is not only wildly cool, it is the perfect, full-bodied and expansive short for anyone suffering from escapism. Shot on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, it will transport you instantly to distant, therapeutic vistas. Watch surfing legend Laird Hamilton show us how it’s done on hydrofoil surfboards. This type of board combines fluid dynamics […]

Sports Joseph Milord

Manchester United Is Crumbling, And It’s No Wonder Why

Disorder has engulfed an empire that has been all about stability. Yesterday morning, the rumors began circulating out of Manchester United, the world’s most popular soccer club, and into the media spin cycle. Its underachieving manager, David Moyes, was to be fired, a claim that was reported by more than a few reputable sources. At […]

Also On Elite

Food

Kit Kat Japan Is Making Bake-able Kit Kats That Can Be Put Inside Pizza

In need of a new snack? Japan’s got you covered with these new ready-to-bake Kit Kat bars. Not only can you now bake your own Kit Kats, but they’re putting them on pizza! Wait, does that even sound appetizing? Nestle recently launched the new Kit Kat Bake bar exclusively in Japan. But they aren’t just […]

Entertainment

But, Is Leo DiCaprio Really That Hot?

We may not live under a fascist dictatorship, but saying that Leonardo DiCaprio isn’t that great may be as cause for a public whipping as talking smack on Putin. But whatever the consequence, I just can’t hold it in any longer. The name that has no shame needs to be discussed and I think we […]

Women

The Universal Laws Of One-Night Stands That Every Gen-Y Girl Should Know

In this decade, it seems as if one-night stands have become totally acceptable — nearly the norm. But, although it’s becoming a pretty conventional occurrence, some girls are still not learning about the major consequences that these encounters can have. Some see this life as being fabulous — it is the independent single woman being […]

World

An Ocean Discovered On One Of Saturn’s Moons Could Play Home To Alien Life

Gravity measurements taken from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft have revealed an underground ocean on one of Saturn’s moons. The discovery of a body of water possibly larger than Lake Superior suggests that Enceladus, Saturn’s sixth-largest moon, could have been capable of sustaining life. Enceladus is the third moon to have an underground ocean, next to Jupiter’s […]