The Denver Broncos could be reaching the end of the Peyton Manning era, and rumors indicate that the team could turn back to Tim Tebow as a bridge to help transition into Brock Osweiler’s tenure as starting quarterback.
The team benched Manning on Sunday amid a career low point. Manning went just 5 for 20 with four interceptions through three quarters against the Kansas City Chiefs, with Brock Osweiler taking over in what ended up being an upset loss.
The news got worse on Monday, when sources said that Manning has been dealing with plantar faciitis and could be out for some significant time.
“Manning is battling a case of plantar fasciitis, a source informed of the injury told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport on Monday morning, and has been for more than a week,” NFL.com reported. “He experienced discomfort after the turf against the Colts, and had more Sunday. There was some additional pain and inflammation, along with small tearing. It’s an aggravation of a previous injury and his status for Sunday is in doubt, as the focus now is on getting him healthy.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 16, 2015
While the Denver Broncos appear ready to turn to Brock Osweiler as the starter, they may need to search the free agent pool for some depth.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) November 17, 2015
If the rumors are true and the Denver Broncos do turn to Tim Tebow, it would not be for the long term. Broncos coach Gary Kubiak told USA Today that once Manning is healthy and ready to go again he would be the team’s quarterback.
That future could be uncertain, however. Plantar faciitis has been known to linger for quite some time and cause a lot of pain. Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah described it as running on needles, and San Antonio Spurs big man Tim Duncan was bothered by months.
With a string of quarterback injuries and benchings across the league, the depth of the free agent pool could be tested. On Tuesday the Dallas Cowboys just released Brandon Weeden, who would appear to be the most talented quarterback available.
But after Weeden the options become much more limited, as Pro Football Talk noted back when Andrew Luck went down.
“There’s not much else out there at the moment, unless they want to bring in Ryan Mallett, just to mess with the Texans. Guys like Jason Campbell and Rex Grossman have been NFL quarterbacks in the past, but there’s no indication anyone else has shown any interest in them this season.”
Now there are thoughts that the Denver Broncos could turn back to Tim Tebow, who helped lead the team to the playoffs in 2011 (or who rode the team’s stingy defense to the playoffs, depending on who you ask). The Orlando Sentinel‘s Roger Simmons thought Tebow could be the best bet for the Denver Broncos.
“So, looks like the Eagles could use a QB, right? Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly is a big Tebow fan, so there are already rumors — or not so much rumors as hopes among Tebow fans? — that the former University of Florida QB will get another shot at the NFL.
“And if not with the Eagles, what about the Broncos — the team that drafted Tebow in the first place?”
If the rumors are true, then the Denver Broncos would likely hope that Tim Tebow can remain firmly on the bench. The team appears to have been preparing Brock Osweiler to transition to starter after Manning retires, and having to fall back to Tebow would mean that either Osweiler is injured or is playing poorly.
[Picture by Rich Schultz/Getty Images]