In an attempt to honor a player – either for a great performance or a great career, you often do what you can to separate them from the pack – literally. In baseball, you allow the player to take the field and remove them individually so the fans can recognize their efforts. In basketball, you call a timeout and make a single substitution, allowing the fans to recognize the player. In football, you introduce the player individually, much like the Baltimore Ravens did for Ray Lewis in his final regular season home game.
That’s something the Indianapolis Colts were hoping to do with former quarterback Peyton Manning when he makes his return to his former stomping grounds on Sunday night, but according to Pro Football Talk the NFL will now allow the Colts to individually recognize Manning, at least during player introductions:
Per multiple league sources, the NFL no longer allows visiting team to introduce specific players. Instead, the visiting team is now introduced as a group. The Broncos haven’t requested any type of exemption for Sunday night, and we’re told they don’t plan to.
I’m not exactly sure why the NFL has banned visiting teams from being introduced individually, but it doesn’t exactly make a ton of sense.