Denver head coach Gary Kubiak told the team on Thursday that Manning will be brought back into the team for next Sunday’s game, meaning Brock Osweiler will drop out of the starting role. Manning, who missed six consective starts because of a heel injury, was used in relief for Denver’s game against the Chargers on Sunday, and led the Broncos on four scoring drives as they wrapped up a 27-20 victory and home-field advantage.
Kubiak said he spoke to Manning and Osweiler before telling the team of his decision. The coach admitted earlier this week that “there’s always going to be tough decisions to make” but that he was “going to always go with what’s best for the football team.”
Manning was 5-of-9 passing for 69 yards and led the team on four scoring drives – two touchdowns and two field goals – against the Chargers. The Broncos rushed for a season-best 210 yards in the game. It was Manning’s first action since being removed from the team’s 15 November loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Manning was in terrible form during the regular season, and threw 17 interceptions to nine touchdowns. He has also been the target of doping allegations - which he strongly denies – in recent weeks.
“I knew he still had it,” wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said of Manning after Sunday’s game. “It was a matter of giving him an opportunity to get healthy.”
Denver will play the lowest remaining seed from Saturday’s wild-card games – either Pittsburgh, Kansas City or Houston.
This article was written by Guardian sport, for theguardian.com on Thursday 7th January 2016 18.30 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010