Tony Dungy knows a thing or two about Peyton Manning considering he spent seven years working with the future Hall of Fame quarterback during his seven seasons as head coach for the Indianapolis Colts. While Manning’s status for opening weekend against the Houston Texans after having neck surgery in May, his former coach made a bold statement about whether or not his former player would be recovered and ready to play.
Joe Fortenbaugh of the National Football Post pointed out on Monday how Dungy said Manning won’t play “unless he’s dead” during halftime of the San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday night. Everybody knows Manning is one of the most competitive players in the NFL and will do whatever it takes to make sure he’s ready to go against the Texans–but to say being dead is the only way he won’t play seems a bit extreme.
Since being taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, Manning has never missed a start during the regular season–starting all 208 games for Indianapolis. The argument can be made that nobody knows Manning like Dungy does, so if he claims being dead is the only way he won’t play–don’t be surprised if Manning’s ready to go for Week 1.
Be sure to follow Dan on Twitter @DanParzych