Peyton Manning showed a side rarely seen when he was flagged for a taunting penalty after throwing a touchdown pass. After the pass, Manning got into the face of safety D.J. Swearinger of the Houston Texans and gave him a gentle headbutt and exchanged some angry words.
On the scale of clumsy puppy to John Starks in the NBA playoffs, this was definitely a 1.5 but it was still a headbutt and completely out of character for Manning.
The bad blood was left over from the play before when Swearinger was flagged for an illegal hit on Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker. Swearinger delivered a forearm to the head of Welker who was knocked out of the game with a concussion.
Welker missed several games last season after suffering a pair of concussions.
Manning came to check on Welker and appeared to have an animated discussion with Swearinger about the hit.
As teams lined up for the next play, Swearinger could still be seen yelling in the direction of the Broncos and Manning. That was when Manning threw the 29-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders leading to the confrontation in the endzone.
Manning was asked after the game if he could reveal what had been said, simply responding “I can’t.” However Swearinger made it known that Manning’s message was short and sweet and a little bit vulgar.
When asked what led to the confrontation, Manning made it clear that he was upset about the hit to Welker’s head and explained why he thought the 15-yard taunting penalty was justified.
“I was concerned about Wes,” Manning told the media. “I did not like seeing him come out of the game with a potential blow to the head…I mean, 15 yards with five seconds left in the half can’t hurt you too much. If you are going to get one, that’s a good time to get one.”
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