Peyton Manning: Broncos Debut “A Big Step Forward”

Peyton Manning may have only played one possession and ended his portion of the game with an interception, but he said his debut with the Denver Broncos and his first NFL action in 19 months was a significant step.

The quarterback made his first appearance in a Broncos jersey in Thursday’s 31-3 defeat of the Chicago Bears in the team’s first preseason game. Peyton Manning missed all of last season after a series of procedures on his neck, and in the offseason was dealt by the Indianapolis Colts to make way for rookie blue-chip prospect Andrew Luck.

Peyton Manning was just happy to be back on the field after the year he endured, the Washington Post reported.

“Considering where I was a year ago, the fact that I was out there and took a snap, completed some passes today, it’s been a long haul for me,” Manning said. “That was rewarding. Even that first snap, the very first play, that was a big step for me.”

In his first action Peyton Manning completed four of his seven passes for 44 yards with an interception.

The last year may have been nerve wracking for Manning, but he still maintained his sense of humor. He joked with reporters about a play where he bounced a pass off the hands of a Bears defender and straight to receiver Jacob Tamme.

“Maybe in some ways, I’ve even gotten better,” Manning said. “Now I have the ability to throw a ball into a linebacker’s hands and tip it to my own player. So maybe that’s a positive.”

There were plenty of positives for Manning, even in the limited playing time, the Associated Press reported. He looked sharp on many of his throws, especially a 19-yard completion to Eric Decker on third-and-17.

“It felt good to get out there,” Peyton Manning said. “We can build on this.”

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