After the Denver Broncos wrapped up practice on Thursday leading up to their matchup against the Carolina Panthers in SuperBowl 50, quarterback Peyton Manning spoke with the media about multiple things, including an NFL investigation based on an Al-Jazeera America report that linked Manning, among others, to use of Human Growth Hormone, as well as speculation on Peyton Manning retiring following SuperBowl 50.
In reference to the NFL investigtion, Manning did not pull any punches in his opposition to HGH and welcomed the investigation by the NFL.
“I do welcome it. It’s no news to me,” Manning said after practice. “I still stand by what I said then that it’s garbage from the first day that it came out, garbage today.”
Furthermore, Manning was adamant that the allegations and the investigation would have no bearing whatsoever on the team as they are focused on preparing for a Carolina team that most of the country is favoring to win over Denver.
Manning seemed more deflective in regard to questions about his retirement. NFL Films cameras caught a conversation between Manning and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick in which Manning insinuated that this may be his final game and that it has been a pleasure playing against the Belichick’s Patriots for most of the career.
“That hasn’t been confirmed,” Manning said. “What happened to private conversations on the 50-yard line? They don’t exist anymore. No confirmation to that whatsoever. We are on to Carolina.”
Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak said that he thinks that Peyton is focused more on enjoying his time in the playoffs with the team right now as opposed to focusing on his potential retiring from the game.
“He hasn’t said anything to me,” Kubiak said. “I know he’s enjoying the playoffs and enjoying this opportunity with this football team. I can’t speak for him. … I know it’s special to have him back in the huddle leading the way.”
Manning has been a stalwart in the NFL for the majority of his career, and after he does finally decide to hang up the cleats and call it a career, Manning is destined for Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
SuperBowl 50 will be Manning’s 4th appearance in the big game, but he is still seeking his 2nd ring. Manning’s only ring came from his and the Indianapolis Colts victory over the Chicago Bears in SupeerBowl XLI.
If this game does turn out to be Manning’s final game in an NFL uniform, you can bet he, and his teammates,would love for him to go out with a ring.