“That’s why I retired three games later” : Peyton Manning reveals how Cam Heyward hilariously facilitated his exit from the NFL

Sahilpreet Singh Thind
|Published January 06, 2022

Peyton Manning shared with his brother Eli a story that recalled the late, great fullback Craig ‘Ironhead’ Heyward During the Week 17 Manning Cast.

Peyton Manning’s Hall of Fame career spanned 18 NFL seasons and he faced or played with thousands of players. Two of them were Craig “Ironhead” Heyward and his son, Cam Heyward. Ironhead’s career spanned 11 seasons, the last of which was spent in Indianapolis with Manning, who was then a fresh-faced rookie quarterback out of Tennessee.

How did Craig became Craig “Ironhead” Heyward ?

An all-American at the University of Pittsburgh, Craig Heyward was chosen by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 1988 N.F.L. draft. He played for a number of teams : the Saints, the Chicago Bears, the Atlanta Falcons, the St. Louis Rams and the Indianapolis Colts. His best season was in 1995, when he ran for 1,083 yards. 

Loading embed tweet https://twitter.com/Pitt_FB/status/1135578136102367233?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Heyward, a native of Passaic, N.J., gained his nickname from street football games. He would lower his head into tacklers’ stomachs, and one opponent said it hurt so much that Heyward’s head had to be made of iron. Once, Heyward said, a youngster clubbed him over his head with a billiard cue. The cue broke in half.

Also Read : Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers opens up about his recent controversy with NFL reporter Erin Andrews and the resulting media outrage.

Peyton Manning recalls an old memory

In the middle of sharing his disgust about Cleveland’s play-calling that led to Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield getting sacked, Peyton then told Eli:

Hey, Eli. How about Cam Heyward? I was at a coin toss with him of a playoff game, and he tells me before the coin toss, ‘Hey, you played with my dad.’ I was like, ‘Wow.’ You talk about feeling old. I played with Craig ‘Ironhead’ Heyward my rookie year with the Colts. But when you’re playing against somebody’s son in an NFL game, that means you’re old. That’s why I retired three games later.

After Manning’s Broncos had defeated Cam Heyward’s Steelers in the AFC Divisional game, Manning approached Heyward and told him it was meaningful to share a field with two generations of Heywards. Cam Heyward returned the love by posting a letter telling him how his late father had spoken highly of the young quarterback he played with in Indianapolis. 

Loading embed tweet https://twitter.com/CamHeyward/status/706924334921728000?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Also Read : Jalen Hurts sent a letter to the WFT and NFL officials on Tuesday to make sure future incidents like the one that happened at FedExField on Sunday afternoon don’t happen again.

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