Peyton Manning Says He’ll Freeze Out Receiver Who Made Leather Helmets Joke

October 6, 2014 Last Updated: October 6, 2014

Peyton Manning threw his 500th touchdown pass on Sunday, prompting one of his wide receivers to crack a joke about how long he’s been in the NFL.

Manning revealed the joke and also said that he plans on freezing the receiver out. 

“So any touchdown passes that I’ve thrown usually resulted in helping our team try to win the game or win the game,” Manning told Sports Illustrated.

“I think about it that way―that it helped the team. But yeah, somebody asked me if for my first [touchdown pass], ‘Did we wear leather helmets?’ So, that was a nice free cheap shot there. I wouldn’t start that guy on your fantasy team next week. He’s not going to get a lot of balls next week. I’ll leave him nameless.”

While the name of the receiver wasn’t disclosed, many believe that it was Wes Welker.

Other candidates include Julius Thomas, Demaryius Thomas, and Emmanuel Sanders.

See an Associated Press story below.

Manning, Broncos set marks in 41-20 win over Cards 

Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas pulls in a touchdown pass against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas pulls in a touchdown pass against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER—Julius Thomas was lauded in one locker room and lambasted in the other.

The Pro Bowl tight end caught Peyton Manning’s 500th touchdown pass Sunday in Denver’s 41-20 win over Arizona.

He also caught a lot of flak from Cardinals coach Bruce Arians for his chop block that send Arizona defensive end Calais Campbell out with a sprained MCL that will keep him out a few weeks.

“I’ve been coaching for 37 years, it’s the dirtiest play I’ve seen,” Arians fumed. “It was a flat chop block and put him out of the game. I know John Fox, great coach and great guy. Somebody has got to answer to that. A fine isn’t going to do it, when he’s going to miss three or four weeks, on a blatant chop block.”

Arians didn’t have a lot to be happy about Sunday as he watched his defense surrender 568 yards, the most they’ve allowed since 1973. That also was the Broncos’ best offensive output ever.

Plus, fill-in quarterback Drew Stanton left with a concussion, cornerback Patrick Peterson sprained an ankle and the Cardinals (3-1) saw the Broncos (3-1) make historic play after historic play.

Manning joined Brett Favre in the NFL’s most exclusive of clubs with his 500th touchdown toss, then added three more, including two that covered 31 and 86 yards to Demaryius Thomas.

His 86-yarder tied Manning’s career high. He also threw an 86-yarder to Marcus Pollard in 2001 against the Saints.

Manning threw for 479 yards and four TDs, moving him within five of Favre’s record 508.

After getting his touchstone touchdown — a 7-yard dart to tight end Julius Thomas — out of the way early,Manning helped Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker make history, too.

Demaryius Thomas set a franchise record with 226 yards on eight catches, beating Shannon Sharpe’s mark of 214 yards set against Kansas City in 2002.

Welker’s seven receptions moved him past Rod Smith for the most catches in NFL history by an undrafted player. He has 854, five more than Smith caught for Denver between 1995-2006.

Welker’s record-breaker came on the last play on the first half, something Manning called “kind of a ha-ha moment for scouting, for not drafting him. So, whoever was a general manager in 2004, those guys ought to send him an apology letter.”

Demaryius Thomas had a 77-yard TD but it was nullified by Julius Thomas’ chop block on Campbell when left tackle Ryan Clady was about to engage him.