Broncos still juggling quarterbacks during lost season
By ARNIE STAPLETON
Dec. 15, 2017
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Vance Joseph's rookie season in Denver has been full of losses, laments and quarterback switches.
Joseph said Friday that Trevor Siemian's season is over, indicated Brock Osweiler's starting days also might be finished and hinted Paxton Lynch could start at Washington next week .
Siemian was placed on injured reserve Friday after injuring his left shoulder Thursday night at Indianapolis, where Osweiler came in cold and sparked a 25-13 comeback over the Colts with a touchdown run and two TD passes while completing 12 of 17 throws for 194 yards.
That didn't necessarily earn him the starting job for the Broncos (5-9) down the stretch, however.
"I'm not sure. We've got two healthy guys there," Joseph said when asked if Osweiler would start at Washington on Christmas Eve. "We're going to have a staff meeting on Monday morning and see who's best for us. Paxton being a young guy, we want to see him play more, so that part will have some bearing there. So we'll see.
"Brock played really well last night. He made some big-time throws and his leadership showed. He played with great poise and he took care of the football. That's going to be a long and hard conversation."
So Lynch might get the nod when the Broncos visit Washington (4-10) next week.
At the very least, he could share snaps with Osweiler like in the preseason.
Joseph acknowledged a sort of double standard at quarterback with Lynch, who's been a major disappointment ever since general manager John Elway moved up to select him in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft.
Joseph has been saying that despite Denver's dive, it's still more important to win games now than to focus on getting a better draft position in 2018. That philosophy played out during the team's back-to-back wins over the Jets and Colts following an eight-game skid that was the franchise's worst in half a century.
"Where we are right now with the quarterback, we have to see where we are there," Joseph said. "There's obviously a major decision moving into the offseason. So, that's different in my opinion when it comes to the quarterback.
"Now, we're not going to forfeit games. Whoever is playing for us, our goal is to win the football game. Whoever plays the quarterback position on Sunday afternoon, we want to win the football game whether it's Paxton or Brock."
Siemian beat out Lynch for the second straight summer but lost his job to Osweiler after going 3-4. Osweiler went 0-3 and lost his job to Lynch, who was injured in his only start, a loss at Oakland on Nov. 26, and Siemian regained the starting job three weeks ago.
Lynch wasn't striding normally on his sprained ankle during warmups Thursday night but Joseph said he should be cleared this weekend and the coaching staff will gather Monday morning to make a decision on who will start at QB.
The Broncos don't plan on signing a third quarterback, Joseph said.
Instead, wide receiver Jordan Taylor will serve as the emergency QB. If it gets to that point, running backs C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker could also expect some direct wildcat snaps.
Joseph also said there's a strong possibility that rookie running back De'Angelo Henderson could play for the first time since September, when he had a single carry for one yard against Buffalo.
Joseph acknowledged he has mixed feelings about the Broncos finding their footing this month.
"It's what we've coached and preached the entire season. To finally see it the last two weeks, it's good, but it could've been six weeks ago, seven weeks ago," Joseph said. "It's bittersweet."
Joseph said his message to fans "would be something good is happening here. The more we figure out our formula to win, it's going to be better for us here. I've been proud of the players for how engaged they've been and how hard they've worked. We have a good team. We have a good locker room. It's not perfect. We have to fix some things in the offseason, but it's a special group of people here. It's going to get fixed. I promise."
Notes: Joseph said WR Emmanuel Sanders is day to day with a bone bruise in his right ankle. ... OLB Shane Ray tweeted that he had the pins removed from his wrist that he injured in the preseason and should be OK to play against the Redskins.
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