- Jeff Legwold, ESPN Staff Writer
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PHOENIX – Former NFL quarterback Archie Manning said Thursday that he expects Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, one of his three sons, to decide on whether he plays in 2015 “maybe in the next week or two."
Archie Manning made his comments during an appearance from the Super Bowl media center, aired by a Nashville, Tennessee, radio station, and touched on Peyton Manning’s impending decision as well as the quarterback’s right thigh injury he suffered in December.
“He’s given a lot of thought to it," Archie Manning said. “My advice for him is to go through the process, get away a little bit, let your leg heal, give it a lot of throught and decide what you’re going to do … [I] think he’s taken a good evaluation of where he is physically."
Peyton Manning skipped last week's Pro Bowl because of the injury. At the time, Manning issued a statement that he was “disappointed that I'm just not healthy enough this year to be part of it."
Manning suffered the injury just before halftime of the Broncos' Dec. 14 victory over the San Diego Chargers. Manning had suffered flu-like symptoms the night before the game and had four bags of fluids administered by IV in the night before the game and the morning of the game.
He has said he believed dehydration contributed to the leg injury, which he suffered trying to roll out to throw to Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.
After missing some practice time the week following the injury, Manning had his first four-interception game of the season against the Cincinnati Bengals and he did not throw for a touchdown pass in the regular-season finale against the Oakland Raiders.
Manning had said on Christmas Eve that he intended to return for the 2015 season, but then backtracked Jan. 11 following the Broncos’ 24-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC’s divisional round. Manning finished 26-of-46 passing for 211 yards and a touchdown in the playoff loss as several Colts defenders said they wanted to put the game’s in Manning’s hands and force him to throw the ball toward the sidelines.
Following the game, Manning said he could not say with any certainty if he would be back for the 2015 season. Broncos executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway met with Manning the day after the season-ending loss and Elway said he told Manning to take at least four weeks to make a decision.
Manning’s salary for the 2015 season -- $19 million – is guaranteed on March 9, which is the last day of the league year, if Manning is on the roster. Manning was signed to a five-year, $96 million deal in 2012 that has been tweaked since he signed it.
If he returns to play in 2015, his cap charge is scheduled to be $21.5 million -- his base salary and a pro-rated charge for bonuses.
Asked Thursday if he expected Manning to return for the 2015 season, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said: “What a great player he’s been for this league? He’s a great competitor, and I’ve been fortunate to play against him a bunch of times. I certainly hope he comes back because the league will miss him if he doesn’t. Those decisions are up to him. I’m sure it’s up to him whether he’s [ready] mentally and physically, if that’s what he wants to do. I certainly hope he’s back."