INDIANAPOLIS – Peyton Manning still holds Indianapolis in a special place. Even if Denver is opening the season against his former team.
Two days after Manning found out his rematch with the Colts would be the first Sunday night game of the NFL’s season, the reigning MVP returned to town for a very different reason – to help host an annual fundraiser for the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent.
It’s the first time Manning has been back since his emotional October homecoming ended with Denver’s first loss of the season.
“I had a pretty good feeling that game (Colts-Broncos) would be on TV,” Manning said as reporters laughed. “It’s a tough schedule with three playoff teams (Indianapolis, Kansas City and Seattle) right off the bat and we play the Colts right at the start.
“They’re a good team, they were right there at the end and we know they’ll be an excellent opponent.”
Manning expects the Colts to be so good, in fact, that after taking a quick peek at the schedule Thursday, the record-breaking quarterback changed his plans and immediately returned to the weight room. His teammates soon followed.
For Manning, there’s plenty at stake this season. He’s coming off a year in which he proved he was back to his old ways by breaking NFL records for yards passing and TD passes and then won a third AFC title before a devastating blowout loss to Seattle in the Super Bowl.
He wasn’t even sure he’d be back this year until doctors examined his surgically-repaired neck.
Now, the 38-year-old Manning says, he intends to keep playing as long as his body allows it and as long as the Broncos want to keep him.