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Why Fear Haunted Manning's Thinking

Joe Amon/Denver Post

There were several times during the 439 days that passed between the time he took his last meaningful snap for the Colts and when he signed his new contract with the Broncos that Peyton Manning couldn't help but wonder if his career might be over.

After spending all of 2011 on the sideline because of neck injuries, Manning had to consider the possibility of not playing.

"I can't say it wasn't," Manning said last week in a private conversation with The Denver Post.

For all of his devotion to football and the art of quarterbacking, Manning knew that he wouldn't play again until he was healthy. As he went through a second, third and fourth procedure last year, all in hopes of fixing the pain in his neck, Manning demanded ...

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