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Broncos QB Peyton Manning passes mandatory neck exam

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Peyton Manning after practice. January 23, 2014

Peyton Manning appears after practice in January.

DENVER — Broncos fans can exhale. Quarterback Peyton Manning passed a mandatory neck exam Monday morning and is fully cleared to play next season, according to the NFL Network.

The exam went “as expected,” reporter Ian Rapoport tweeted.

The neck check, required under Manning’s contract with the Broncos, is meant to make sure his surgically repaired neck can handle further contact.

Manning has had four neck surgeries, including a spinal fusion that kept him out of the 2011 season, but had no major issues with his neck during the 2013 season. Manning said throughout Super Bowl week that he plans to play next season, and team officials said the scheduled exam was the last formality remaining.

Manning also played in a golf tournament just days after the Super Bowl, which would seem to indicate that he’s been feeling good.

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