Originally a fifth-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in the 2012 NFL Draft, linebacker Terrell Manning has already found the NFL to be a relatively unforgiving place. After coming into the league with knee problems, Manning quickly contracted colitis — a parasitic infection of the large intestine — that lingered for much of his rookie season.
Due in large part to both his sickness and his knee problems, the Packers released Manning in August of 2013. Since then, he's bounced around a bit, briefly joining both the Minnesota Vikings and San Diego Chargers before ultimately finding himself with the New York Giants.
Now healthy for the first time in his professional career, Manning is excited and eager for a truly fresh start.
"When I found out I was sick, it was a major adjustment. You just got to be prepared for anything no matter what may happen," Manning told the Fayetteville Observer. "I feel 100 percent ready to go. It's in the past now. I've learned to control it now, and I'm ready to go."
Although Manning was essentially signed as an insurance policy following Jon Beason's injury (fractured foot), he has seized the opportunity and is taking it very seriously. In fact, he's latched onto Beason and has gone above and beyond in an attempt to absorb as much information as possible.
"Great guy, great football player, even better character," Manning said of Beason. "I sit beside him in meetings and try to learn as much as I can."
Manning understands his current situation could be fleeting, however. And while some other players would celebrate in similar circumstances, he understands he needs to go out there, prove himself and win a spot on the 53-man roster in training camp or it's right back to the drawing board.
"I'm just taking it a day at a time," Manning said. "I'm not trying to look too far ahead. Just keep my head down, stay focused. Don't get sidetracked up there in the big city."
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