Peyton Manning to start for Broncos on Thursday

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Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos are treating their visit to Chicago on Thursday night just like any other preseason opener.

Only, it isn’t.

This marks the four-time MVP’s first game of any sort since Jan. 30, 2011, when he went 2-for-5 for 12 yards and an interception in the AFC’s 55-41 loss to the NFC in the Pro Bowl.

“I think he’s anxious to get in there, just like all of our starters,” coach John Fox said Tuesday.

Anybody who wants to see Manning’s first game in 18 months had better tune in early because he won’t have much more than a cameo appearance at Soldier Field.

“Well, we don’t get into how much we’re going to do but we’ll approach it much like any first preseason games,” Fox said. “Our first unit will go the first quarter – about – and the seconds will go the second and third quarters, and the third will finish out the fourth quarter.”

EAGLES: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Browns President Mike Holmgren and Patriots coach Bill Belichick were among more than 900 people who packed a Mormon church in Broomall, Pa., for the funeral service of Garrett Reid, son of Eagles coach Andy Reid.

Garrett Reid was found dead in his dorm room Sunday morning at Lehigh University, where he was assisting the Eagles strength and conditioning coach during training camp. The 29-year-old recovering drug addict had seemingly turned his life around.

Many current and former players, coaches and other league officials traveled from all across the country to pay their respects Tuesday morning at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

FEMALE OFFICIAL: The NFL’s first female official is welcoming her role as a sports pioneer.

Shannon Eastin says she’s excited and a bit nervous but not at all intimidated by the challenge of working a pro game. Eastin makes her NFL debut Thursday night as the line judge when the Green Bay Packers play at San Diego in the preseason opener for both teams.

A 42-year-old referee in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference – college football’s second-highest level – Eastin has 16 years of officiating experience.

She is among the replacement officials hired by the league while the regular officials are locked out.

JAGUARS: Receiver Justin Blackmon signed a four-year deal worth about $18.5 million Monday night and started earning his money Tuesday morning when he took part in his first training camp practice.

Blackmon was the last of the 32 first-round picks to sign, missing the first 11 days of practice for Jacksonville.

BROWNS: Trent Richardson may miss his first game with Cleveland.

The highly regarded rookie was not in pads, his left leg was wrapped, and he did not participate in practice at all on Tuesday.

“There’s a chance he won’t play on Friday,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “He’s got a sore knee and is being evaluated.”

COWBOYS: Cornerback Mike Jenkins still hasn’t been cleared to practice with his surgically repaired right shoulder.

Coach Jason Garrett said Tuesday that Jenkins will continue his rehab and then see Dr. James Andrews for another checkup in “a couple more weeks.”


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