It should be noted that Al Michaels – for all intents and purposes – can’t predict any sort of problem surrounding Peyton Manning’s ankle. Or at least it won’t be any issue that will affect his performance.
“If he is limited in any way Peyton is so smart that he can figure out a way to work around it, in terms of how he runs that offense,” Michaels told me in a one-on-one interview. “Unless that ankle is really an issue and a problem – and I don’t see that, at least after watching him in practice – I think you’re going to see pretty much Peyton as Peyton.”
Manning has currently thrown for 3,249 yards and 33 touchdowns through just nine games, a pace that would easily shatter NFL records in those categories.
The Broncos-Chiefs game will mark the sixth or seventh occurrence Michaels has called a game that includes Manning – across Monday Night Football and now in his post as play-by-play on Sunday Night Football. As well as the legendary announcer knows the future Hall of Fame quarterback, Manning kept to himself about his limitations come kickoff.
“He knows his body pretty well. He’s also as smart as they come when it comes to knowing what he can and cannot do,” Michaels said. “I don’t think he’s going to go out there and tell people what he can’t do.”
Manning mobility will likely be the most noticeable aspect inhibited by his ankle. He’ll need to find a way to evade the Chiefs pass rush or – especially in his gameplan this week – get the ball out of his hand quickly.