ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Broncos fans held their collective breath from the end of Sunday's game until Monday afternoon, as quarterback Peyton Manning was scheduled to undergo an MRI.
"I'm pretty sore," Manning said Sunday in San Diego. "They kind of got me twice in that lower area. I felt better coming into the game after the bye week, but I'm pretty sore. (I'll) get an MRI tomorrow and will probably know a little more now."
Fortunately, Interim Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio opened his Monday afternoon press conference with some good news.
"There was nothing additional, so there were good results coming back," Del Rio said of Manning's MRI. "He'll definitely play this week. He's ready to roll and that was great news."
As for how Manning's practice week will progress leading up to Sunday night's matchup with the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs, Del Rio said that's yet to be determined.
Manning might get "an occasional day off here and there" if it makes sense, something the team does with "a lot of our veteran guys."
"We'll manage that as we get closer to Wednesday, Thursday and all those things," Del Rio said. "But he'll definitely play this week."
With Manning acknowledging that he feels sore from some of the hits he took late in last Sunday's game, Del Rio was asked whether or not he might be more likely to take the quarterback out late in games that the Broncos are leading.
"Depending on the situation," Del Rio said. "I mean, certainly, that was not a thought based on the way yesterday's game unfolded."
"I'd love to have those kinds of situations – being ahead and contemplating that with the big lead late. But we're just going to worry about getting that lead right now.
Regardless, the team wants to do a better job of protecting Manning, who was sacked twice by the Chargers. That's particularly important this week, as the Chiefs lead the NFL in sacks.
"We're definitely on high alert wanting to protect our quarterback," Del Rio said. "We didn't do as well as we can, and we'll need to, yesterday. We've got an even greater challenge coming up this week with a team that's sacked quarterbacks more than anybody in this league, so I'm sure that will get plenty of attention."