Originally written on BroncoTalk  |  Last updated 11/12/14

Denver Broncos coach John Fox and quarterback Peyton Manning during the team's 2012 training camp. (BroncoTalk.net photo)

From Rick Reilly’s piece last weekend –

While everybody in Denver squirms waiting to see whether Manning’s four-times-operated-on neck will hold up when he gets hit hard for the first time in 19 months, Manning himself can hardly wait.

“I’d like to get it over with,” he says. “I really would. I’d kinda just like [Chicago Bears linebacker Brian] Urlacher or somebody to get a good clean shot and just lay me out. Kind of shake the cobwebs out. So I can get up and go, ‘Yeah, OK. I’m ready now.’ And at least Urlacher wouldn’t use me like a footstool to get up, either.”

Count me among the guys squirming for that first hit. We’ve all been told Manning’s neck is 100% — better, even — but we won’t know until someone like an Urlacher or Julius Peppers lights him up during this Thursday’s first preseason game.

Do we want to know? Do we want to have that certainty, one way or another? That’s the magic of the NFL offseason, isn’t it? The potential, the possibilities, the on-paper-championship-ness. It’s a trait shared just about every offseason, but this year’s Manning-driven frenzy has upped the hype quite a bit.

It turns out Urlacher might not even play, but still — I’d rather just keep sitting in La La Land myself. Protect that blind side, Ryan Clady. Let’s keep the mystery going a bit longer.


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