Del Rio: Peyton ‘definitely’ to play vs. K.C.

Updated: November 11, 2013, 5:05 PM ET

Jeff Legwold |

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning could be limited some in practice this week, but he “definitely” will play in Sunday night’s AFC West showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs after aggravating a previous injury to his right ankle, interim coach Jack Del Rio said.

Manning, who was hit low by defensive end Corey Liuget in the closing minutes of Denver’s 28-20 win over the San Diego Chargers, had an MRI on Monday morning. The exam showed no new damage to a high ankle sprain he suffered Oct. 13 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“We did get good news that there was nothing additional, good results coming back,” Del Rio said. “[Manning] will definitely play this week. So that’s good news”

Del Rio said during Monday’s news conference that the Broncos thought Liuget’s hit was “questionable” so they turned it over to the league, but sources told ESPN Senior NFL Insider Chris Mortensen that a league review determined the hit was legal.

Del Rio said the Broncos may have to adjust Manning’s practice schedule in the coming days and weeks.

“He’ll get an occasional day off here and there,” Del Rio said. “We’ll decide when that makes sense or not … we’ll manage that as we get closer to Wednesday, Thursday. He’ll definitely play this week. He’s ready to roll, so that’s definitely good news.”

Manning was hit just after he threw a 7-yard completion to Demaryius Thomas for a first down in the game’s closing minutes. He stayed on the ground after the play, and the Broncos’ trainers briefly looked at his ankle. Manning was also flexing his right knee during the timeout that followed the play.

“They got me twice in that lower area,” Manning said Sunday. “I felt better coming into the game after the bye week, but I’m pretty sore.”

Manning finished the game but was limping slightly in the locker room afterward. He wouldn’t specify the injury after the game.

“Lower body,” he said. “[I] feel like the injury report is very revealing to the opponent as well as the folks in Vegas, so I guess somewhere in that lower body.”

Manning met with the Broncos’ medical staff after the game and was informed at that point he would be sent for an MRI.

The quarterback suffered two sprained ankles in the Broncos’ home victory over Jacksonville, with the high ankle sprain to the right ankle being the more severe of the two.

Manning took another low hit, from Robert Mathis, in the Broncos’ 39-33 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 20. He sat out one day of practice the ensuing week but played in the Broncos’ Oct. 27 win against the Washington Redskins. He did not participate in the Broncos’ two practices during the bye week but practiced fully last week before playing Sunday against the Chargers.

Manning finished the win over the Chargers 25-of-36 passing for 330 yards and four touchdowns. It was his eighth 300-yard game of the season and his fifth game with at least four touchdown passes.

The unbeaten Chiefs (9-0) lead the Broncos (8-1) by one game in the division.

  • Covered Broncos for nine years for Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News
  • Previously covered Steelers, Bills and Titans
  • Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame Board
    of Selectors since 1999

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