Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) after a win against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. The Broncos won 28-20. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Peyton Manning returns to practice


Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning needed to receive an MRI on his ankle on Monday after absorbing a hard, low hit from San Diego Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget late in Sunday’s 28-20 victory. Manning was never expected to miss any time, though, and this was something reported by numerous people. It was also common sense, too, since the MRI seemed like a precaution and Manning is one of the game’s toughest players.

After not practicing today, the USA Today’s Lindsay Jones reports that Peyton Manning has returned to practice for the Broncos today, thus confirming that he is healthy and will play in this week’s massive game against the Kansas City Chiefs. There was obviously no doubt that the Broncos would have the MVP favorite under center, but his practice status confirms it.

This week’s AFC West showdown between the Broncos and Chiefs has huge playoff ramifications, and I would consider the Broncos the favorites despite the fact that the Chiefs are undefeated. The Chiefs have barely scrounged by a couple of sloppy games recently, and their passing attack has too many questions marks (pass-catchers are a bigger weakness than Alex Smith at QB). Although the Chiefs have the NFL’s best pass defense (great secondary and pass rushers), the Broncos have the league’s best pass offense and a defense that shouldn’t go underrated. It’s great to hear that Peyton is officially back out there, and hopefully his line can protect his ankles from further abuse, especially against guys like Justin Houston and Tamba Hali.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter for more NFL updates and analysis @SorianoJoe. Be sure to like us on Facebook here and follow our site on Twitter as well.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Denver Broncos Injury Report Peyton Manning