DENVER (CBS4) – After a dismal performance in the Broncos 24-13 loss to the Colts on Sunday, Peyton Manning didn’t really answer the question of whether he might retire.

The legendary quarterback’s 26 for 46, 211 yard, 1 touchdown performance wasn’t enough to keep the Broncos in the game against a Colts defense that wasn’t known for being a dominant force.

Peyton Manning (credit: Evan Semón/CBS)

Peyton Manning (credit: Evan Semón/CBS)

In the Broncos locker room after the game, CBS4’s Gary Miller and Vic Lombardi said there are now several questions that are in the minds of Broncos fans.

“There are so many questions looking forward, I think the biggest one around Peyton Manning,” Miller said. “He was asked whether or not he’ll be back and he didn’t really answer the question.”

Manning’s exact words to reporters were as follows (courtesy of the Denver Broncos):

My mindset right now is just disappointment after today’s game. I haven’t — (KOA-Broncos radio network announcer) Dave Logan asked me about it after the game and you know, like I said, I didn’t have a great answer for him. So I’m disappointed. I need to process this game and we’ll meet tomorrow and kind of — I need to process this game. So I’m disappointed right now is what I am.

I guess I can’t just give that simple answer (on if he’ll be back next year). I’m processing it. So I can’t say that. I could not say that.

“But he had a different answer than the one he gave when the same question was posed to him two months ago,” Lombardi said. “At that point he said ‘Yeah, if the Broncos have me I’m come back.’ He didn’t say that today. He wasn’t as authoritative about returning.

“I think it comes down to this. I don’t see the Broncos the way they are presently constituted with John Fox as head coach and Manning as quarterback. I don’t see that combo returning together. I think it’s one or the other.”

John Fox (credit: CBS)

John Fox (credit: CBS)

Miller projected that Sunday’s game wasn’t Manning’s last.

“I think Peyton Manning comes back. I don’t know what the alternative is,” he said. “John Fox? I don’t think so. I think he was coaching for his job today and I don’t expect him to be the Broncos coach moving forward.”

Lombardi then said he wasn’t so sure about Manning’s future in the NFL.

“If Manning knows deep down that he can’t play any better than he did today, do you really think he wants to soil his legacy with that kind of performance?” Lombardi asked.

“He’s got 20 million reasons for coming back,” Miller said, referring to his contract with the Broncos.

“Gary, he’s not going to want to come back for 16 games like that,” Lombardi said.

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