Osweiler to start again in Manning's absence
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Brock Osweiler is preparing for his second consecutive start for the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning is seeking a second opinion on his injured left foot.
Manning flew to Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday to meet with renowned foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson about his torn plantar fascia.
This doesn't mean he had a setback in his rehab nor does it indicate Manning faces increased odds of a season-ending surgery, coach Gary Kubiak said.
"We shouldn't read anything into it," Kubiak said. "It was a decision made on Saturday. It's taking place today and then we know more tomorrow."
Kubiak told the team Monday that Osweiler would start again next weekend when the Broncos (8-2) face the New England Patriots (9-0), who were hosting the Buffalo Bills on Monday night.
Several of Manning's teammates said they didn't feel that his seeking a second opinion on his injured foot raised any red flags.
"I would do the same thing," tight end Owen Daniels said. "If I had a foot issue, I would want to go see the best in the world, as well, just to make sure you're getting the right opinion. As an athlete, you respect what the team doctors have to say and what the trainers have to say, but you've got to do your due diligence.
"I'm not any more concerned than I was before," Daniels said. "I just want him to get healthy and do whatever he can to do that."
Manning stayed back in Denver when the Broncos beat the Bears 17-15 in Chicago, snapping a two-game losing streak.
In his first NFL start, Osweiler, Manning's longtime backup, completed 20 of 27 passes for 250 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. It was the first turnover-free game of the season for the Broncos.
Manning didn't practice or attend meetings last week as he received treatment on his left foot, bruised ribs and sore throwing shoulder, injuries that sidelined him at midseason for the first time in his 18-year career. He did miss all of 2011 after spinal fusion surgery before joining the Broncos as a free agent following his release from Indianapolis.
Kubiak said he won't have a plan for Manning this week — whether he'd practice, serve as Osweiler's backup, even be on the sideline Sunday night — until Manning returns from North Carolina.
"Peyton's frustrated with the fact that he's injured," Kubiak said. "That's hard for him, but he's been great with me. We had a good, long conversation. We've had many. We talk all the time. That part is frustrating for him, but he is very excited for his football team. He's happy for his team that we won a big game yesterday.
"I can tell you that he is doing everything he can possibly do to get himself healthy and get back in position to get back on the field. Going through stuff like this is aggravating for anybody, but his frame of mind is as good as it can be. We've had great conversations."
As for Osweiler's starting debut, Kubiak said, "it's encouraging. The thing that he's going to be able to do is see a lot of good things, but he's also going to look at some things and say, 'I could have been better in this situation.' I think he's going to take a lot from that. But it was encouraging, I think, for a first start in this league."