In a story by Cindy Boren of the Washington Post that ran back in September, just as we were learning about the severity of Peyton Manning’s neck surgeries, Tony Dungy knew when the origins of these issues first arose. Speaking with Peter King on NBC, Dungy pinpointed it to a game against Washington back in 2006.
Dungy recalled that Manning’s neck was wrenched and his helmet ripped off when he took a low hit by Andre Carter, followed by a high hit by Phillip Daniels. The anecdote was relayed by King, who said that Manning stretched his neck when he got up and shook his right arm “as if trying to get the feeling back in it.”
Why is this significant? Well, 2006 was the third season where Gregg Williams served as the defensive coordinator. We’ve just learned in the aftermath of the news of the Bounty program breaking, that the Washington Redskins had a similar system when Williams was there. It’s also notable that the player involved, Phillip Daniels, was also the only one to go on the record defending Williams in that story today. According to Manning, Daniels “wouldn’t let go of my head” and he was later fined $5,000 for his actions (anyone want to inquire and see if he got reimbursed by Williams for that fine?).
So, as the news about the bounties emerge regarding the Saints in 2009 taking out Kurt Warner in his final game, and in targeting Brett Favre to knock him out of the game, it’s very possible that Gregg Williams’ actions as a leader of men in pushing these bounties led to knocking one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time out of the game and shortening his career.
[photo via US Presswire]