Peyton Manning reportedly played through torn quad muscle
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning did not look like himself in a playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. A torn leg muscle will do that to you.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Manning played the final month of the season with a torn quad muscle in his right leg. He reportedly suffered the injury during a Week 15 win over the San Diego Chargers on Dec. 14.
That would explain why “something wasn’t right” with Manning, as one teammate put it.
The timing certainly makes sense. Including Sunday, Manning played some of his worst football of the season after that game. He threw four interceptions in a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals the following week. He then failed to throw a touchdown pass against the Oakland Raiders in the final game of the season.
Most of Manning’s throws on Sunday looked like they had absolutely no zip behind them, leading to a series of hilarious internet memes. His deep balls were severely overthrown and had a ton of air under them. Since Manning throws right-handed, his right leg is the one he would use to generate most of the power in his throws.
The injury could change Manning’s future outlook. If the leg is the sole reason he played poorly, he could have offseason surgery and come back and play effectively near year. But Manning will turn 39 in March, and recovering will be a challenge. It’s fair to wonder if he will call it a career.