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Peyton Manning is the Broncos' starter for the playoffs

Brock Osweiler will be replaced by Peyton Manning, who recaptured his spot as a starter after a strong showing in Week 17.

Peyton Manning is back in the starting lineup for the Denver Broncos and will take over for Brock Osweiler during the team's postseason run, Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak announced on Thursday.

"I'm looking forward to Peyton leading our football team. I feel very good about that," Kubiak said Thursday. "Best for our football team and I also know that Brock will be ready to play."

Osweiler is reportedly dealing with a sprained knee but that did not factor into Kubiak's decision, according to NFL Network. Kubiak confirmed that Osweiler sat out of practice Thursday and probably wouldn't be back on the field until Saturday.

Kubiak added that he felt comfortable where Manning was at "physically and mentally."

After missing six games while rehabbing a torn plantar fascia, Manning returned to the lineup as a backup for Osweiler in Week 17, but took over for the 25-year-old quarterback in the third quarter after five turnovers for the Broncos offense. With Manning in the lineup, the Broncos outscored the Chargers, 20-7, to overcome a 13-7 deficit and pull out a 27-20 win that gave Denver the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

Despite the significant improvement of the Broncos offense when Manning was on the field, Kubiak was hesitant to hand the keys back to the veteran for the playoffs. Immediately after the game, Kubiak was noncommittal about the team's quarterback situation and still refused to name a starter for the playoffs during his Monday press conference.

"I won't say anything,'' Kubiak said on Monday. "I'm very proud of our football team. We've got a few days off here, I've got a lot of things I need to do as a coach right now, I'm still up there trying to evaluate a lot of things. I've got nothing for you, so we'll just get ready to go and we'll go back to work Thursday.''

Manning's final regular season appearance before he sat out with the foot injury was a Week 10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs that began with four interceptions and only five completions for Manning on 20 attempts before he was replaced by Osweiler.

With Osweiler leading the way, the Broncos won three consecutive games, including an overtime win over the New England Patriots, before back-to-back losses and another overtime win against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Manning finished the regular season with just nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions, but managed to lead the Broncos to a 7-2 record as a starter. He has an 11-13 record in the playoffs with 38 touchdowns and 24 interceptions and won a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts after the 2006 season.

The Broncos will play at home in the Divisional round of the playoffs against the lowest seed to advance from the Wild Card round, which will be the Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs or Pittsburgh Steelers.