Peyton Manning has no feeling in his fingertips

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By JOHN DORN

Peyton Manning's resurgence over the last few seasons has been so amazing, it almost doesn't seem like a resurgence at all. After missing the entire 2011 season as a member of the Indianapolis Colts, and subsequently getting released, some wondered if the Pro Bowler would be able to play quarterback reliably again -- let alone at an All-Pro level.

But after leading the Denver Broncos to a 38-10 record over the last three seasons -- finishing first in QBR in two of those seasons -- it's difficult to even remember the time when Manning's future was in jeopardy.

But as it turns out, his return to dominance is even more amazing than we first imagined.

In an interview with The MMQB, Manning revealed that his neck procedures left him with no feeling in any of his fingertips.

"I can't feel anything in my fingertips. It's crazy. I've talked to a doctor recently who said, 'Don't count on the feeling coming back.'

"It was hard for me for about two years, because one doctor told me I could wake up any morning and it might come back. So you wake up every day thinking, Today's the day! Then it's not."

To post the kinds of performances Manning has over the last three seasons would be remarkable for any quarterback. To think he's been doing it without being able to feel how he's gripping the ball? Come on.

As CBS Sports' Jared Dubin notes, Manning's completion percentage has actually been better post-surgery. Obviously in a smaller sample, but his yards per attempt and touchdown percentage have both been higher, while his interception rate has been lower.

As Peyton enters his age-39 season -- following the first hint of a drop-off in performance that occurred during the tail end of 2014 -- it'll be interesting to see how the quarterback leads Denver. He lost Eric Decker before last season, but he was replaced with Emmanuel Sanders. This year, he'll be without Julius Thomas, who signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

No matter how the season pans out, Manning's entire Broncos tenure instantly just became more heroic.

See Peyton throughout his career:
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Peyton Manning through the years
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Peyton Manning has no feeling in his fingertips
PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 30: Peyton Manning attends the SuperBowl Breakfast where he received the Bart Starr award at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa on January 30, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Super Service Challenge)
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) prepares to take the field prior to an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2014, file photo, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning passes against the Buffalo Bills during an NFL football game in Denver. A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that Manning will return for a fourth season in Denver and 18th in the NFL. Manning will reduce his salary from $19 million to $15 million in 2015, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement. However, he can make up all of the $4 million pay cut by reaching certain performance benchmarks. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) celebrates his 509th career touchdown pass with teammates during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning looks to the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 19: A digital display commemorates the NFL record 509th career passing touchdown by quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos in the second quarter of a game between the Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 19: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos throws as he warms up before a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 09: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos in action against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on November 9, 2014 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 07: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos runs the offense against the Indianapolis Colts at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 7, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Colts 31-24. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - AUGUST 17: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos stands on the sidelines during their preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on August 17, 2014 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 16: NFL quarterback Peyton Manning accepts award at The 2014 ESPYS at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images For ESPYS)
JERSEY CITY, NJ - JANUARY 26: Starting quarterback Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos addresses the media on January 26, 2014 in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 19: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos in action against the New England Patriots during the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 19: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos in action against the New England Patriots during the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 19: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos celebrates after they defeated the New England Patriots 26 to 16 during the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 01: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos watches the scoreboard from the sidelines during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on December 1, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 15: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos calls a play during the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 15, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 28: Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints congratulates Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos after the Broncos defeated the Saints 34-14 at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on October 28, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
ENGLEWOOD, CO - MAY 21: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos waits to talk to the local and national media following organized team activities at Dove Valley on May 21, 2012 in Englewood, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
ENGLEWOOD, CO - MARCH 20: Quarterback Peyton Manning (C) poses with majority owner, president, and CEO Pat Bowlen (L) and executive vice president of football operations John Elway (R) during a news conference announcing Manning's contract with the Denver Broncos in the team meeting room at the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre on March 20, 2012 in Englewood, Colorado. Manning, entering his 15th NFL season, was released by the Indianapolis Colts on March 7, 2012, where he had played his whole career. It has been reported that Manning will sign a five-year, $96 million offer. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - JANUARY 3: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts looks on from the side line during their NFL game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York. The Bills defeated the Colts 30-7. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 01: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass during the NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 1, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS - DECEMBER 14: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts waits to be introduced before playing the Detroit Lions on December 14, 2008 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 04: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts calls a play to his team in the second quarter of Super Bowl XLI against the Chicago Bears defense on February 4, 2007 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts speaks during Media Day prior to Super Bowl XLI at Dolphins Stadium in Miami, Florida on January 30, 2007. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning warms up before play against the Cincinnati Bengals Dec. 18, 2006 in the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. The Colts won 34 - 16. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick at a 2005 American Bowl press conference at the Tokyo Dome Hotel in Japan, Thursday August 4, 2005. (Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
MIAMI, : Miami Dolphins' defensive end Kenny Mixon (R) can't catch up to Indianapolis Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning (L) as he scrambles into the end zone for a touchdown during second quarter action 17 December 2000 at Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida. AFP PHOTO/RHONA WISE (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
18 Apr 1998: First overall pick Peyton Manning shows off his jersey after being selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, New York. Mandatory Credit: Ezra C. Shaw /Allsport
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 16: Indianapolis Colts rookie quarterback Peyton Manning looks for a received during a pre-season game with the San Diego Chargers 22 August at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo credit should read JOHN RUTHROFF/AFP/Getty Images)
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