Broncos QB Peyton Manning: 'I am aware this could be it'
At Super Bowl Media Day, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning declined to say whether Sunday’s game against the Panthers will be his last, but did admit he is aware that it could be.
“I truly don’t know the answer to that,” Manning told NFL Network’s Marshall Faulk. “I’m taking it one week at a time. I don’t want to look too far ahead and I don’t want to look too far back.”
Manning later said he would do a “comprehensive analysis” after the season, but that he is also realistic that this “could be it.”
Manning, who turns 40 next month, missed six games this season with a foot injury, the first time he was sidelined for the entire 2011 season by a neck injury.
At media day, Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib hinted at Manning’s retirement by saying that Super Bowl 50 is a chance to send him out of the NFL as a champion.
“We have a chance to send him out on top,” Talib said. “That’s special.”
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Manning “has told close friends that he expects this to be his last game.”
Peyton's brother Eli said last week that Super Bowl 50 could be his brother’s final game, according to a report in the New York Daily News by Ralph Vacchiano.
“I see this as possibly being [Peyton’s] last game,” the younger Manning said. “It would be a good way to go out.”
The 18-year NFL veteran hinted at the possibility of retirement during his embrace with New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick after the Denver Broncos’ 20–18 win in the AFC Championship Game.
“Hey listen...This might be my last rodeo, so, it’s been a pleasure,” Manning told Belichick.
Manning threw interceptions on 5.1% of his pass attempts this season and averaged 224.9 yards per game, both the worst of his career. He threw more interceptions (17) than touchdowns (nine) for the first time since his rookie season.
- Dan Gartland