Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is reportedly expected to miss two games and reportedly could lose his starting position to backup quarterback Brock Osweiler if he plays well in Manning's absence, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
Manning has been dealing with a foot injury and a rib injury, and Osweiler reportedly will be auditioning for the starting position, according to NFL reporter Ian Rapoport. Manning set the NFL's record for most career passing yards last week, but it was a bittersweet day, as the he was pulled after throwing four interceptions.
Osweiler saw his first time under center this season against the Kansas City Chiefs and threw for 146 yards and a touchdown. The Broncos backup quarterback also threw an interception, and head coach Gary Kubiak likely hopes a week of preparation with the first team in practice will have him ready on Sunday. The Broncos used their second round pick on Osweiler in the 2012 NFL Draft, and the organization will watch watch him closely, as they will want to know if he is their future franchise quarterback.
While Osweiler is looking to make an impact on Sunday's game against the Bears, Manning is rehabbing from a partial tear in his foot, as well as his rib injury. Manning reportedly will not return to the starting lineup until he is able to practice regularly before a game, according to La Canfora.
The Broncos are 7-2 on the season and have a four-game lead in the AFC West. Denver may rest Manning and look to get him healthy for a playoff run, but if Osweiler leads the Broncos to multiple victories, don't be surprised if he takes over as the official starter. While Manning is still trying to recover and get back on the field this season, teams in the Tennessee Titans and the Cleveland Browns are reportedly interested in Manning for next season, according to Jason La Canfora.
The Browns and Titans are reportedly not interested in bringing Manning in as a quarterback, but instead for a front office position. Manning has a strong relationship with Browns owner Jimmy Haslem, as well as a strong connection with the state of Tennessee. With Manning's football IQ, it's clear that NFL franchises would be interested in bringing in the future Hall Of Fame quarterback.
Manning could still return this season, but it looks like this will be the last year fans see No. 18 suit up. It will be interesting to see what the Broncos do down the stretch of the season, especially if Osweiler leads Denver on a winning streak in the next couple games.