Denver's Manning OK for Chiefs showdown Sunday
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning suffered no new damage to a sprained right ankle, X-rays showed on Monday, and will play Sunday in a crucial NFL showdown against unbeaten Kansas City.
Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio, the defensive coordinator in charge while coach John Fox recovers from heart surgery, said Monday that Manning was set to lead Denver (8-1) in a home game against their AFC West division-rival Chiefs (9-0).
Manning was hit five times and sacked twice by San Diego defenders last Sunday in a 28-20 victory over the host Chargers, and left limping at the end of the game to prompt the extra medical examination on Monday.
"We did get good news that there was nothing additional," Del Rio said. "That was definitely good news and he will definitely play this week. He's ready to roll. That's great news."
Manning, who has thrown for 3,249 yards and 33 touchdowns this season while completing 71 percent of his passes, has the Broncos on pace to break the NFL single-season scoring record but had aggravated his high right ankle sprain suffered earlier in the season.
Manning grabbed his ankle after being tackled low around the legs by San Diego defensive end Corey Liuget on a 9-yard completion for a first-down that sealed the victory.
"I'm pretty sore," Manning admitted after the contest.
Protecting Manning will be a critical part of the game for the Broncos, who Sunday face the top team at sacking NFL quarterbacks.
"We're definitely on high alert wanting to protect our quarterback," said Del Rio. "We didn't do as well as we have to do last week and we're going to have to do better this week going against a team that has sacked quarterbacks more than any other team in the league."