Since coming back in 2012, Peyton Manning's shown that he has the potential to be in the game for a decent amount of time longer: His team is sitting at the top of its division, he was named the 2013 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year and life seems to be going pretty well.
Which makes it all very easy to forget the months when he was coming back from neck surgery and reports of him not being able to throw a football seemed to dominate all things Manning news. At the time, he was steadfast, at least publicly, that he was making a comeback.
Privately though, according to Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback column, it took a pep talk from his wife to talk him off the ledge, at least once in his recovery.
From MMQB.com, when asked if there was a moment in that process when he said, It's not going to happen?:
"Ashley [his wife] and I actually had those conversations. More than one. Because, you know, you don't want to embarrass yourself. Because, they're signing you and people are thinking they're getting the player they had always seen before. And so, Ashley was the one that was saying, 'Peyton, you've got to try. You've got to try.' With this injury, nothing was happening. Nothing. For weeks. There was no progress. It was so frustrating. And really, I had a peace about it. I had a peace. Because, I had this unbelievable string of health for 20 years—since I was 15 years old as a sophomore in high school. So who was I to complain now that I'm injured? I've given it as good a run as I can give it. I've got kids now. I had a peace about it. So I didn't feel like I had to play to get another win or a touchdown. But she's like, 'You've got to try.' So I was glad that she pushed me to do it. Once I did it, I was going at it, and then I started seeing a little bit of light there. So, yeah, she was the one who kind of pushed me through it."
Manning threw for 289 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Broncos' loss to San Diego on Thursday.