DENVER—Noting that he is no longer capable of safely maneuvering across the field on his own, the Denver Broncos announced Tuesday that quarterback Peyton Manning will now be accompanied in all games by a specially trained assistance dog. “Given Peyton’s age and physical limitations, he needs Scout to help him navigate the pocket and find his way to and from the huddle,” said head coach Gary Kubiak, adding that the 2-year-old Labrador retriever—who the veteran quarterback will have on a leash at all times when stepping into the backfield—can recognize all of Manning’s voice commands and hand signals at the line of scrimmage and will then carefully guide him through a play accordingly. “Scout will make sure Peyton can move around slowly and securely without falling down or running into one of his offensive linemen, and he’s trained to bark if there’s a defender blitzing Peyton’s blind side. Not only is he a guide and helper, but he’s also a companion, and they’ve already become great friends.” Kubiak added that he has already had to tell younger Broncos players that they are prohibited from petting Scout during games in order to avoid distracting the canine and risking Manning being seriously injured.
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