Denver Broncos rookie Jordan Taylor may only be a practice squad player, but without him, the team may have been watching the Super Bowl from home this Sunday.
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning missed six weeks this season with a foot injury. As the veteran quarterback worked his way through the rehab process, he needed someone to throw to so he could get back in the flow of things. That's when he turned to the first-year wideout.
Taylor had no problem helping out the future Hall of Famer, showing up hours before practice if necessary. The 23-year-old was essentially doing two-a-days down the stretch of the season. But if his teammate needed him to catch passes, the rookie out of Rice was there to help out.
"I feel bad because I was running him into the ground and he hadn't even started practice yet," Manning said, per Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today Sports. "I have a bad habit of saying, just one more, and one more can turn into 10 more. I don't think I could have gotten though my rehab and gotten back if it had not been for him. I am very grateful for his help."
And those efforts certainly stuck with the quarterback.
Practice squad players don't make road trips during the season, but with the team headed to the Super Bowl, Taylor was going to accompany the Broncos to San Francisco—and be Manning's go-to guy in pregame warm-ups. Realizing he didn't have a suit to wear on the flight, he hit up Manning to see if the 18-year veteran had any old suits he could use. (Note: Taylor is 6'5" and 210 pounds; Manning is 6'5" and 230 pounds.)
"He texts me back and all he said was, 'I'll get you set up,'" said Taylor, per Jones. "I didn't know what that meant."
Manning knew how much Taylor had helped him throughout his rehab process, so he hooked the young wideout up with his "suit guy" to get measured for a custom suit (and two shirts and ties).
"He may have been one of the best dressed players on the team coming out here," Manning said, per Jones. "I just appreciate his help, and I'm excited about his career."
The Manning-Taylor connection has been an extremely beneficial relationship for all involved parties. For Manning, it helped him get workouts in and ultimately get back in the lineup. As for Taylor, not only has it resulted in new additions to his wardrobe, but it also helped him improve as a receiver and give him a better feel for the system.
Oh yeah, the Broncos are also one win away from being Super Bowl champions. Who knows where they'd be without Taylor?
To watch Manning and Taylor talk about the gesture, head on over to the Broncos website.