Peyton Manning’s first full practice in pads in 18 months drew rave reviews from his coaches and teammates – and at least one suggestion that his health is no longer even an issue.
Manning put on an aerial show with Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker and others in Englewood, Colo., Saturday morning in the latest milestone to his comeback from a nerve injury that cost him all of last season and led to his release from the Indianapolis Colts.
Although Manning threw in full pads during his tryouts at Duke University for the Broncos and other suitors during his first foray into free agency in March, and again at times while working out in Denver, this was his first real action in full pads since the Pro Bowl following the 2010 season.
Manning didn’t address the media afterward, but coach John Fox said he thought Manning’s performance was excellent.
“The guy comes to work every day, whether it’s in that building or on that field, he attacks it like no other,” Fox said.
Although the defenders weren’t allowed to hit the Broncos’ new $96 million man, Manning seemed to have extra pep in his step in his first practice at Dove Valley that wasn’t in shells or shorts.
“It was great,” wide receiver Brandon Stokley said. “It was like the first day of school. Football without pads, it’s not football. So when you put the pads on, you know you’re getting close to the season.”
Around the league
Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has banned his players from tweeting during training camp, a way of trying to get them to focus while they work out at their downtown facility the next few weeks. He imposed the ban after consulting team leaders about the social media crackdown. … The Jacksonville Jaguars have placed holdout running back Maurice Jones-Drew on the reserve/did not report list, an indication they don’t expect their star player to show up to training camp anytime soon.