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Peyton Manning tells Sports Illustrated he still can't feel his fingertips on his right hand

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ENGLEWOOD, Colorado — No glove on his throwing hand. No feeling in his fingertips.

Peyton Manning has ditched, at least temporarily, the sticky-feeling, orange-and-gray glove he's worn on his throwing hand at times since 2012. He's gone barehanded throughout training camp and also in his preseason debut at Houston over the weekend.

He's said not to read anything into it, that he'll probably still need it in nasty weather.

Manning even told Peter King of Sports Illustrated that he still doesn't have feeling in his fingertips four years after the multiple neck surgeries he underwent during his season out of football.

That hasn't seemed to affect either his velocity or his accuracy.

Pro Bowl receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders have both praised Manning's arm strength this summer.

Thomas said there's "a little more zip" on Manning's passes, and Sanders said he told the 39-year-old quarterback, "Man, your arm's a lot stronger without the glove."

"I feel like he's just trying to get more catches or something," Manning retorted when asked about Sanders' comments recently. "I feel like he's going through you to try to butter me up maybe."

Manning never wore anything on his hands before 2012, when he joined the Broncos. He has said the glove was a concession to the altered feel of his grip, especially in cold weather, following several neck surgeries in 2011.

PHOTO: Denver Broncos' Peyton Manning (18) throws against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015, in Houston. (AP Photo/George Bridges)
Denver Broncos' Peyton Manning (18) throws against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015, in Houston. (AP Photo/George Bridges)

Manning usually deflects questions about his health history or his current well-being, but he had a little fun with the questions a couple of weeks ago when asked about not wearing the glove during training camp.

He said he didn't know if his grip was stronger now because "I haven't really measured it by any means."

Maybe, he said, he should test his grip in the kitchen with a jar of peanut butter.

"Yeah, I should. Exactly. A pickle jar or something," he said, laughing. "Can I unscrew it?"

Seriously, though, Manning said that he'll probably have to break out the glove again at some point.

"I've mentioned it before, due to my injury, my hand has some issues. I've been forced to wear a glove and certainly in certain elements, have to wear a glove. I practiced with it in the spring. I haven't worn it as much during training camp. I don't really have a real set plan one way or the other. I feel pretty comfortable with both," he said.

Manning told King that the nerve damage appears to be permanent: "I can't feel anything in my fingertips. It's crazy. I've talked to a doctor recently who said, 'Don't count on the feeling coming back.' It was hard for me for about two years, because one doctor told me I could wake up any morning and it might come back."

Despite the numbness, Manning has had some of his best seasons statistically since joining the Broncos. After averaging 28.5 touchdowns during his time in Indianapolis, he's thrown for 37, 55 and 39 touchdowns while breaking records in Denver.

He's entering his 18th season in 2015 trying to become the oldest quarterback to win the Super Bowl. Coach Gary Kubiak has given him plenty of days off this summer in hopes of keeping him fresh and getting longtime backup Brock Osweiler more work.


AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL


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PHOTO: Denver Broncos' Peyton Manning (18) looks to throw against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015, in Houston. (AP Photo/George Bridges)
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