(Reuters) - Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning got the go-ahead to start on Sunday in an AFC West showdown against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs after undergoing tests on his sprained right ankle on Monday.
“There was nothing additional,” interim head coach Jack Del Rio told reporters after Manning had a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam on his already injured ankle. “Good results. He’ll definitely play this week, so it’s good news.”
Kansas City (9-0) has used a ferocious defense and a steady, mistake-free offense to sit atop the AFC West with the Broncos (8-1) just one game back while featuring a high-powered passing attack with Manning at the controls.
Manning was hit five times and sacked twice in Sunday’s 28-20 victory over the San Diego Chargers. He was slow to get up and walked with a pronounced limp after being tackled around his ankles late in the game.
Tests showed he had aggravated the injury, but sustained no new significant damage.
Del Rio said he would probably lighten Manning’s work load during practice ahead of the game in Denver to give the quarterback additional time to heal.
“We’ll work through that like we always do,” the coach said. “He’ll get an occasional day off. We’ll decide when that makes sense. We do that with a lot of veteran guys.”
Two other quarterbacks for playoff-contending teams are not expected to be available for Week 11 games.
Chicago Bears (5-4) coach Marc Trestman said Jay Cutler, who had returned to action in Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Lions, would not start their upcoming game against the Baltimore Ravens (4-5) after injuring his left ankle.
“This is a week-to-week, and it certainly won’t be this week,” Trestman told reporters.
Back-up quarterback Josh McCown will start against the Super Bowl champion Ravens.
The Green Bay Packers (5-4) will be going with third-string quarterback Scott Tolzien against the hosting New York Giants (3-6) after back-up Seneca Wallace left Sunday’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles with a groin injury.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said the team tried out former back-up quarterback Matt Flynn on Monday but was impressed with how Tolzien handled himself against the Eagles.
“I saw the young man get better as the game went on,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy exhibited a short fuse when asked how the team was coping with all the changes since starter Aaron Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone the previous week against Chicago.
“All the focus has been on who’s not here,” snapped McCarthy. “We got to focus on what the hell we’re doing.”
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York, Editing by Gene Cherry