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Manning takes his next step

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Peyton Manning's first full practice in pads in 18 months drew rave reviews.

The Broncos quarterback put on an aerial show Saturday in the latest step of his comeback from a nerve injury in his neck that cost him all of last season and prompted his release by the Colts.

Although Manning threw in full pads at Duke University for the Broncos and other suitors and at times while working out in Denver, this was his first real action in full pads since the Pro Bowl after the 2010 season.

Manning didn't address the media afterward. But Brandon Stokley, who played with Manning from 2003-06, said he looked as good as he did back then.

"He looks like he's just gotten better and better," Stokley said. "He looks normal."

The next step in Manning's comeback? Taking a hit, which was not allowed Saturday. When that happens remains unknown.

The Broncos open the preseason Aug. 9 but haven't said how much he will play.

"I have no concern (getting hit)," Manning, 36, recently said. "I'm not begging (Steelers linebacker) James Harrison to blindside me by any means. But I feel I'm going to be able to handle that."

Tebow hears jeers

CORTLAND, N.Y. — Tim Tebow got heckled during the Jets' first public practice. The ex-Gator quarterback, acquired in the offseason, and projected starter Mark Sanchez threw during 11-on-11 drills as rain fell.

Sanchez looked good. ("Mark can spin it in any conditions," coach Rex Ryan said.) Tebow was 3-of-8 with the second team. A few passes sailed over receivers, and an 8-yarder to running back Shonn Greene wobbled.

Later as Tebow sought an open receiver, an observer in the grandstand shouted, "Throw it, Tebow!" Later, when he connected with a receiver, the same fan yelled, "Wow, you completed one!"

After a wobbly toss, another fan shouted: "That's a Tebow ball!"

gators hurt: A pair of former Florida receivers sustained injuries. In Bethlehem, Pa., the Eagles' Riley Cooper broke his collarbone when he fell after going up for a pass. The length of the former Clearwater Central Catholic standout's absence has not been determined. In Pittsford, N.Y., the Bills' David Nelson missed the final hour of practice after hurting his right knee during a pileup. Coach Chan Gailey said the initial prognosis was only a bruise but hopes to know more today.

Miami signs Tannehill: The Dolphins reached a contract with quarterback Ryan Tanne­hill, the eighth overall pick in April. Terms weren't disclosed. Tannehill is expected to be at practice this morning after missing the first two days of camp. He is expected to compete for the starting job with incumbent Matt Moore and fellow veteran David Garrard.

Twitter Ban: Bengals coach Marvin Lewis banned players from using Twitter during training camp. Saying, "I don't see how tweeting is going to help us win a football game," and the ban is "part of being selfless," he imposed it after consulting team leaders. But left tackle Andrew Whitworth asked the union if it violates the collective bargaining agreement. He said he hasn't heard back yet. Lewis said he'll let the team leaders decide whether to extend the ban into the season.

QB retires: A day after signing with the Chargers, quarterback Kyle Boller retired. Boller, 31, who was unavailable for comment, was taken 19th overall in 2003 by the Ravens. He spent eight seasons in the league, the last two with the Raiders.

Cowboys: Ex-USF cornerback Mike Jenkins, out after offseason right shoulder surgery, will consult about his progress with surgeon James Andrews next week.

Seahawks: Receiver Sidney Rice, whose third concussion in 11 months came in November, was cleared to practice.

Manning takes his next step 07/29/12 [Last modified: Sunday, July 29, 2012 12:19am]

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