Following the 2011 season, Peyton Manning's career was in doubt. The Colts' quarterback was coming off a lost season in which he missed all 16 games as he recovered from neck surgery, prompting some to question whether he would ever rediscover his previous form.
Two years later, none of those questions persist. Manning is coming off a record year in which he shattered the single-season marks for passing touchdowns and yards, and he has the Broncos in the Super Bowl. It's been a remarkable comeback, and while Manning isn't ready to look too far down the road, he doesn't think Super Bowl XLVIII -- win or lose -- will be the final chapter in the Book of Manning.
"I certainly had a career change two years ago with my injury and with changing teams," Manning told reporters Sunday night. "I’ve been truly on a one-year-at-a-time basis. So, I really have no plans beyond this game. I had no plans, coming into this season, beyond this year. I think that it is the healthy way to approach your career at this stage.
"I still enjoy playing football. I feel a little better than I thought I would at this point, coming off that surgery. I still enjoy the preparation part of it, the work part of it. Everybody enjoys the games. Everybody is going to be excited to play in a Super Bowl. When you still enjoy the preparation and the work part of it, I think you ought to be still doing that. I think as soon as I stop enjoying it, if I can’t produce, if I can’t help a team, that’s when I will stop playing. If that’s next year, then maybe it is. I certainly want to continue to keep playing.”
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