Peyton Manning was back at practice for the Denver Broncos on Thursday, listed as ”limited” on the injury report but looking more and more like a sure thing to play Sunday.
”He practiced a good bit and looked like he was doing the things he needs to do for us,” interim head coach Jack Del Rio said.
Manning missed practice Wednesday to get more treatment on the right ankle he aggravated when Chargers defensive lineman Corey Liuget dove at the quarterback’s lower legs toward the end of last Sunday’s game.
Both Del Rio and Manning have insisted Manning will play Sunday when the Broncos (8-1) host the Chiefs (9-0) with first place in the AFC West on the line.
On Wednesday, Manning said sitting out of practice was not his preference but something he had to do in the best interest of the team. Del Rio agreed with that view.
”He did the smart thing, did a little extra time yesterday and continues to do his thing with preparation,” Del Rio said. ”He’s tremendous with that and it’s well-documented. Good player who’s back at practice and is getting ready to play a good team.”
Offensive coordinator Adam Gase said Manning missing a Wednesday practice — the way many veterans do, especially later in the season — wouldn’t affect Denver’s preparation.
”When you have Peyton back there, he knows this offense in and out,” Gase said. ”Him running one more rep of a play he’s run 4,000 times, that’s really not going to make the difference of what we’re doing. The big day is today and tomorrow, making sure that Saturday we’re nice and clean going into the game.”
Meanwhile, Manning’s absence gave backup Brock Osweiler a chance to get reps with the first team.
”Those are huge for him,” Gase said. ”The only thing that could be better for him is if he’s ever in a game and hopefully we can hold that tenure for a while.”