Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos had a good day on Sunday, topping the San Diego Chargers 24-17 in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs. The Broncos will move on to face the New England Patriots next Sunday in the AFC Championship Game, but this offseason their quarterback will face a different kind of test.
On Sunday reports surfaced that Manning will undergo a neck exam in March. The results of that exam will determine whether or not the 37-year-old can continue playing.
If the examination shows that his neck is fine, then he can obviously continue his career. Manning has said he wants to keep playing regardless of whether or not the Broncos win the Super Bowl this season.
He will turn 38 on March 24, so clearly if Manning’s neck is unstable he’s going to have a lot to think about as far as his future is concerned. He has had four surgeries on his neck already and it is unlikely he would be able to undergo another and return to football. Your body can only take so much before it is just time to move on.
When asked about whether or not he was already thinking about his upcoming neck exam after Sunday’s game, Manning quipped, “The only thing weighing on my mind is how soon I can get a Bud Light in my mouth.”
Manning is coming off a campaign in which he broke the NFL’s single-season records for passing yards (5,477) and passing touchdowns (55). Given the weapons he has at his disposal on offense it’s not surprising he wants to continue playing. The Broncos have the kind of roster that could lead to multiple Super Bowl runs.
His neck exam will go a long way to determining what his future holds but assuming everything is where it should be we can’t see Manning retiring any time soon.