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Marvin Harrison expects former teammate Peyton Manning to continue playing

Marvin Harrison, who played with Peyton Manning on the Colts for eleven seasons, expects his former teammate to continue playing.

Harry How/Getty Images

As we await Peyton Manning's decision on whether or not the legendary quarterback will play in 2016 or not, it's continuing to sound like Manning wants to play.  Manning's all-time favorite receiver, Marvin Harrison, is also in the group who thinks that Manning wants to and will continue to play.

"No, I wouldn't be shocked if he didn't (retire)," Harrison told Talk of Fame Network.  "I would expect him to keep playing.  This is my opinion: I would expect him to keep playing.  If he does retire, I would be shocked.  He just loves it.  Everybody has a different opinion of where to go about every different year, but when his body says it's time to stop I'm sure he'll do the right thing for his health."

Harrison spent 11 years in Indianapolis catching passes from Manning, and the duo eventually became the most prolific quarterback/wide receiver tandem in league history, setting records for completions (953), yards (12,766), and touchdowns (112).  They were two of the best and most notable players on a team that achieved numerous records and accomplishments, and that has earned Harrison a berth in Canton as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Five years after whenever Manning does retire, he'll join his former receiver among football's all-time greats.

While Harrison expects Manning to continue playing, he doesn't exactly relate to him when it comes to such a tough retirement decision.  Harrison also reflected on his own retirement and said that it was time and he felt fine with that.  Tony Dungy had retired and Harrison had the opportunity to do so as well, and he didn't want to play for another coach or another team, so he hung it up.

"I didn't really watch that many Denver games," Harrison said.  "From my perspective, I was fortunate and I was happy that I played with one team.  I probably could have (come) back and played a year or two somewhere else.  But I decided I was dedicated to Indianapolis.  And that's where I wanted to end my career.  And I was more than happy to walk away at that time.

"Peyton?  He does his own thing.  He's a guy who loves football; he loves the game.  This is what he lives for.  So for him to continue ... and the way things happened at Indianapolis ... it happened for the best for Indianapolis, and it happened for the best for him.  So that now that he's played with Denver, like I say, this is what he wants to do.  He wants to continue to play football."

This, of course, doesn't at all mean that Peyton Manning will come back, but his counterpart in making NFL history expects him to do so.  Harrison realizes that he felt peace with his own retirement and was "more than happy" to retire and spend time with his kids, and it sounds like he's hoping the same for Manning.  And, since Harrison realizes that Manning still loves the game and wants to play, he expects Manning to keep playing until the quarterback knows it's the right time to step aside.