Peyton Manning angrily fired back at a report that strongly suggested that he is unwilling to serve as the Broncos’ backup quarterback when he is healthy enough to play, calling the report “bull****” and “insulting.”
Earlier on Sunday, Ian Rapoport reported on the NFL Network about what he described as “a very uncomfortable and difficult situation,” concerning Manning’s status on the Broncos.
“It is a trying time for Peyton Manning who has always been a starter in his entire career,” Rapoport said. “[It] does not sound like he is inclined to be Brock Osweiler’s backup. That is one issue, and one I am told he is pretty serious about.”
On the surface, this could just mean that Manning doesn’t want to be a backup player, a fair sentiment for anybody as every player wants to be a starter. However, Rapoport took it a step further.
Rich Eisen, seemingly seeking to clarify the comments, asked Rapoport if we would see a healthy Manning serving as a backup quarterback.
“My understanding is [that] is not, not going to happen,” Rapoport responded.
Following the Broncos’ game on Sunday, Manning was asked about the report.
“It’s bull****, and it’s insulting,” Manning said.
John Elway, the Broncos executive VP of football operations and general manager, also denied that Manning has made any demands about playing time.
Peyton has never told Gary or myself that he doesn’t want to be the backup. Any report or rumour that suggests otherwise is incorrect!!
— John Elway (@johnelway) December 20, 2015
What is unclear at this point is exactly what Manning was asked and what he and Elway thought the report said.
There was confusion in the media, with some reports saying Manning had told the team he would not serve as a backup. However, there is no indication that Rapoport ever reported any demands being made by Manning, only that “there are plenty of people who know that Peyton does not want to be the backup.” Again, that Manning would want to start when healthy is probably a safe assumption that most people would make.
Here are the main comments made by Rapoport.
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