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Peyton Manning: I’m 36, my arm isn’t the same as when I was 22

Peyton Manning

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning throws during NFL football training camp on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)


Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning acknowledges that he doesn’t have the arm strength he used to. But Manning says that’s because of age, not injury.

Manning told Jim Rome on Rome that he can’t say how close he is to 100 percent recovered after having multiple neck surgeries and missing the entire season in 2011. But he will say that he thinks losing arm strength is mostly just a function of being older, not a function of last year’s injury.

“I still have strength to recover, still have work to do,” Manning said. “I am 36 years old. My arm has a lot of yards and a lot of touchdowns on it, so it’s probably not going to be the same as it was when it was 22, but I still think it can complete some passes. I can move the chains and hopefully get our offense into the end zone this year.”

The real question for Manning isn’t how his arm strength at age 36 compares to his arm strength at age 22. It’s how his arm strength at age 36 compares to his arm strength at age 34. If Manning can be more or less the same player this year that he was in 2010, then the Broncos have one of the best players in the NFL under center.

The good news for the Broncos is that Manning’s brain has always been a bigger part of his game than his arm.