Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning is officially listed as probable to play this weekend in a divisional showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs. Manning has primarily been dealing with a high ankle sprain for the last 4-5 weeks, but has also developed a traditional ankle sprain in addition to knee soreness. Manning practiced on Thursday and Friday and looks to be a lock to play on Sunday.
Injury Outlook: We talked a little bit about this earlier in the week, so there really wasn’t any doubt that Manning would play this week. The main concerns for Peyton and the Broncos moving forward is management of the high ankle sprain and his ability to throw with proper mechanics despite obvious pain and limitation. Manning has famously had problems with triceps strength in his throwing arm the last two years due to the nerve issues stemming from his neck. Now that you add into the mix a multitude of lower extremity injuries, you have to wonder if that’s going to limit what throws Manning will be able to make.
We oftentimes think that for immobile QBs like Manning and Tom Brady, their legs aren’t that big of a deal. If they can play, they should be able to perform. But the legs are so highly involved in proper throwing mechanics that if you are dealing with weakness or pain in any region of your legs, it will invariably created mechanical problems as you move up the chain through the trunk and into the thrown shoulder/arm. The fact that Manning already has weakness in his throwing arm makes a strong set of legs all the more important.
Now that we’ve laid out the gloom and doom, don’t forget one thing: we’re talking about Peyton freaking Manning. He’s one of the most cerebral QBs to ever play the game and he’s already been playing through this high ankle sprain for weeks. As an owner of Manning in one of my fantasy football leagues, I’ve been quite pleased with his results post-injury. I’d also expect the Broncos to limit any long, downfield throws this week, especially considering how potent the Chiefs defense is and how versatile the Broncos’ receiving weapons are.
Manning will be fine this week and the rest of the season in that he’ll be able to manage his symptoms during the week and make the necessary mechanical adjustments as needed. I don’t foresee this being a knock on his production or value for the rest of the season so long as he can avoid a more serious injury.
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