After 16 years in the NFL, Eli Manning has earned the respect of many players — including those not on his team.
Manning started as quarterback for the New York Giants game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night, marking a return since ceding the role to newcomer Daniel Jones earlier in the season.
The 38-year-old helped lead his team into an overtime showdown, before ultimately losing to the Eagles 23-17.
Before walking off the field following the loss, Manning was met with a big show of support — from his opponents. According to one reporter, about a dozen Eagles players approached Manning for a hug or a handshake.
Video from the game shows Manning getting hugs and words of support from Brandon Graham, Sidney Jones, and Eagles coach Doug Pederson, among others.
The two-time Super Bowl champion was also greeted by Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, who could be heard saying to Manning in a video, “Lot of respect for you man.”
Eli Manning 🤝 Carson Wentz— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) December 10, 2019
Nothing but respect ✊ pic.twitter.com/HUr4xMQxSi
Going into the game, ESPN reported that Manning was feeling ready to retake the field after 10 weeks on the scout team.
“You miss being a part of the action and practicing and all that,” said Manning. “Felt good to get out there [Wednesday] and throw it around and compete a little bit.”
Jones is expected to miss a few weeks with an ankle sprain but it is unclear if Manning will continue to start.