This week’s issue of Sports Illustrated, which is available today, features Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning on its cover.
The story, which is headlined “Manning Up” on the cover and “What, You Doubted Him?” inside the magazine, pinpoints a 20-yard, second-quarter pass from Manning to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas that signaled Manning’s official return — according to the author, Alan Shipnuck.
“His pass tore through the thin Mile High Stadium air, and even before it reached its apex the sellout crowd loosed a throaty roar,” Shipnuck wrote.
“The completion was equal parts trust and timing, and its precise execution impressed one discerning onlooker. ‘There’s such a small window on that throw,’ said Elway, the Broncos’ executive vice president who led Manning’s recruitment. ‘It was a perfect ball. If there was any doubt whether Peyton is back, I think he answered it with that throw.’”
The story continues to document Manning’s long path back to the football field after missing the entire 2011 season with a neck injury.
“Throughout the summer word quickly spread among the Broncos of the long hours Manning was putting in at the team’s headquarters, rehabbing his neck and drilling down on the playbook,” Shipnuck wrote. “The aura he created was such that at the outset of training camp second-year tight end Julius Thomas was calling Manning ‘Sir’ in the huddle, until the QB told him to knock it off.”
This week’s magazine is the 12th in which Manning has been on the cover and the 22nd that has featured a Broncos player.
To read the complete story, look for this week’s edition of Sports Illustrated, which hits newsstands today.