Peyton Manning admits that he can’t feel his fingertips since having three back surgeries since 2011, but don’t think that is going to stop him — he’s set on winning the Super Bowl this year. The doctors have told Manning that the feeling in his fingertips might never return.
Manning’s fingertips being numb does not seem to be affecting his performance with the Denver Broncos. His numbers are actually better since he’s been a Bronco than they were in Indianapolis.
Manning did falter a little at the end of last season. He just didn’t look like Peyton Manning. He says it was due to a “bug” that he picked up toward the end of the season, and his quad problems followed.
“I threw up all night,” he said. “Then, in the game, I moved to the right on a simple scramble and my quad cramped on me. It lingered. I couldn’t shake it the rest of the year. I really studied it hard this offseason, whether it could linger into this year or whether it was isolated. I just think I got dehydrated, and that caused it. I don’t think you can blame it on my age. It was just an isolated thing. I’ve made it through every other season, and this off-season I went through a state of the union physically, if you will, and I started training earlier and made some dietary changes.”
Manning says he’s been feeling great this pre-season, but Broncos General Manager, John Elway, says they will probably let Manning have a day off on Wednesdays this year.
“I think that’s the plan right now,” Elway said. “I think he’d feel better right now if he takes Wednesday off. His health is not a concern. His freshness is a concern.”
MMQB’s Peter King interviewed Peyton Manning. Here’s what King said.
“Despite not having feeling in the tips of his fingers, Manning has thrown 131 touchdowns against 36 interceptions in Denver. In 2013, he set the NFL record for touchdown passes (55) and yards (5,477) in a single season while winning the league’s MVP award.”
King added further context that makes Manning’s run in Denver more impressive: “At 36, 37 and 38, his combined completion percentage is 2.8 percentage points higher than in his career before the neck problems; in Indy, he averaged 28.5 touchdown passes per season; in Denver, it’s 43.7.”
Manning has ditched the orange and grey glove he’s worn on his throwing hand so far this preseason, but two of his players say it hasn’t affected his throwing at all — in fact, his balls have been coming at them harder and more accurately.
According to the Washington Times, Pro Bowl receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders have both praised Manning’s arm strength this summer.
Thomas said there’s “a little more zip” on Manning’s passes, and Sanders said he told the 39-year-old quarterback, “Man, your arm’s a [lot] stronger without the glove.”
Manning says he’s not sure whether he’ll wear the glove during the regular season. He says he’s comfortable either way.
Do you think Manning and the Broncos can win the SuperBowl this year?
[Photo by Scott Halleran / Staff / Getty Images]