NFL fans might just get another chance to watch Tom Brady face off against Peyton Manning after all.
Manning is training in New Orleans with an eye toward returning to the Denver Broncos for the 2015 season, according to Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune. Citing an unnamed source described as close to the 38-year-old quarterback, Duncan reported on Monday that Manning will be working with noted trainer Mackie Shilstone.
Following a disappointing 24-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the playoffs, Manning was noncommittal when asked about returning for an 18th NFL season.
“I can’t give a simple answer without processing it,’’ told reporters after the defeat capped a disappointing close to the Broncos’ 2014 season, via The Associated Press. “I can’t say that. I could not say that.’’
Citing three unnamed sources, Woody Paige of The Denver Post reported on Jan. 21 that Manning wanted to return, pending the results of his team physical. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Monday that Manning still aims to assess his physical condition, notably the state of his surgically repaired neck and a thigh injury that may have played a role in his struggles toward the end of the Broncos’ 2014 season.
The Broncos parted ways with head coach John Fox just one day after the Colts eliminated them from the postseason on Jan. 11. They’ve since hired former Broncos QB and Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak to replace Fox, who was hired as head coach of the Chicago Bears. Kubiak spent the 2014 season as the offensive coordinator in Baltimore with the Ravens.
Manning turns 39 on March 24. He passed for 4,727 yards and 39 touchdowns last season, with a passer rating of 101.5. He needs just 2,148 passing yards to break Brett Favre’s record for most career passing yards, according to NFL.com. He is on the Broncos’ books at $19 million for next season.