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Denver Broncos: Peyton Manning's future is up in the air

By The Sports Xchange
Denver Broncos: Peyton Manning's future is up in the air
Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning spent Monday traveling to Charlotte, N.C. for a second opinion on his injured foot from specialist Robert Anderson, M.D.

Brock Osweiler spent his Monday reviewing his first career start and beginning preparations for his second.

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There was no surprise when Gary Kubiak announced Monday that Osweiler would make his second consecutive start for next Sunday's game against the New England Patriots, who roared into their Monday night game with the Bills unbeaten.

Manning is considered week to week, and such was the nature of his rehabilitation that the Broncos opted to leave him back in Denver for the weekend so he could focus on his recovery. He met with Kubiak on Monday before heading to North Carolina for his appointment with Anderson, and the decision was set to leave him out for another game.

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But the performance of Osweiler in Manning's stead could not be overlooked, either. Manning reportedly is ready to commit to play in 2016, when the Broncos owe him $19 million.

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Although you don't want to rush to judgment regarding Osweiler's debut -- especially with a Bill Belichick-led defense looming next week -- the 20-for-27, 250-yard, two-touchdown performance was a perfect start and one that must have Denver management weighing how to navigate the next turn and then some.

"It's encouraging," Kubiak said. "The thing that he's going to be able to do is see a lot of good things, but he's also going to look at some things and say, 'Boy, I can do that. I could have been better in this situation.' I think he's going to take a lot from that, but it was encouraging, I think, for a first start in this league."

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Osweiler was composed all weekend -- from when he spoke to the team during its Saturday night meeting at a downtown Chicago hotel to the first series, when he guided the Broncos to a touchdown in just four plays.

"Everybody's asking the Brock questions, but we knew Brock could do this," said running back C.J. Anderson. "He's always been a part of our team and he got an opportunity to show the world, show you guys what he can do -- what we've always seen in him."

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And with Osweiler at the controls, the offense did something it hadn't done all year: play a game without a giveaway. The Broncos' defense remains the league's best on a per-game and per-play basis; all the team needs is an average offense that doesn't make mistakes.

"The message this week was, 'Let's protect the football and play,'" Kubiak said. "We'll play great defense. We're consistent in what we're doing there. And let's not hurt ourselves as a team. I think that's what we ultimately did."

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