Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning played the final few games of the season, including a loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, with a torn quadriceps muscle in his right leg, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Manning, 38, headed to the locker room after he tried to block for running back C.J. Anderson in the second quarter of a Week 15 game against the San Diego Chargers. According to Schefter, the injury was suffered a little bit earlier though, when Manning rolled out to his right and connected with Emmanuel Sanders for a 12-yard completion three plays before he left the game.
The injury occurred in Manning's plant leg, which would significantly affect his ability to drive the ball down the field, regardless of the severity of the tear. Following the injury, Manning's numbers suffered and the quarterback finished his last three games with three touchdowns, four interceptions and 59.1 percent of his passes completed.
In the first 13 games of the season, Manning averaged 301 passing yards per game, but in the final four games, the Broncos quarterback managed 257 yards per game. Broncos teammates said after the game that Manning "looked spent" and threw more interceptions than usual in practice in the weeks prior to the postseason.
Manning was listed as probable on the injury report with a thigh injury and told reporters on Sunday that the previously suffered injury "hung around."
Asked if his health affected his play, Manning noted that the thigh injury he suffered in Week 15 in San Diego was still lingering and that he "felt good with it coming into the day." He said he didn't have any other injuries.
"Somebody said today two thigh injuries," he said. "That would be news to me. So I had that one thigh injury that I had in the San Diego game. It's kind of hung around but I felt like I tried to manage it. I felt like I could manage it."
Manning has played and started in every game of his career since he was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 1998, with the exception of the 2011 season, which he missed due to a neck injury.