Forsett arrives in Denver but questions remain at QB
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos trust veteran running back Justin Forsett can play against Tennessee on Sunday after being claimed off waivers this week.
They’re not as bold when it came to quarterback Trevor Siemian’s chances.
“I’d still call him day to day,” coach Gary Kubiak said Wednesday after Siemian’s first on-field work since spraining his left foot against Kansas City on Nov. 27.
Siemian split snaps at the walkthrough with rookie Paxton Lynch, who recorded his first career win at Jacksonville last weekend despite a 104-yard passing performance .
“I’m feeling better,” said Siemian, who demurred when asked whether he’s confident he’ll start against the Titans.
He said he’s done some running and tested his orthotic-fitted foot, but only with the athletic trainers so far.
“So, fingers crossed, moving forward,” Siemian said. “Taking it one day at a time.”
Although Siemian was listed as limited, Kubiak said his starting QB was able to do everything he wanted him to.
Admittedly, that wasn’t much.
After saying he could “feel the fatigue” in his team during their grinding 20-10 win over the Jaguars, Kubiak dialed back, putting his players through a series of walkthroughs at their indoor practice facility on a snowy day in Denver.
They’ll have a regular practice Thursday, which should provide more answers about Siemian’s status.
Playing behind a porous offensive line, Siemian has struggled to stay healthy all season.
The Broncos (8-4) have a brutal stretch ahead. In addition to the division-leading Titans (6-6), they face the Patriots, Chiefs and Raiders, a trio that has a combined 29-7 record.
If Siemian’s not 100 percent, he may sit this one out, too.
“You don’t want to be out there and hurting the team,” Siemian said. “So, that’s the goal: any time you’re coming back from injury, you want to make sure you’re not just out there playing but playing well.”
Forsett not only reinforces the Broncos’ battered backfield but he provides an excellent addition in protecting the passer.
Kubiak called it a blessing that Forsett was available after Kapri Bibbs (ankle) joined C.J. Anderson (knee) and Andy Janovich (hand) on IR this week, leaving rookie Devontae Booker and Juwan Thompson as the only running backs still standing.
“Picking up players in one thing,” Kubiak said, “but picking up a guy who can come in, get in your huddle today and run plays and pick up blitzes, that usually doesn’t happen.”
Siemian was equally stoked about the veteran’s arrival.
“He’s played a long time. He gets it. He knows this system well,” Siemian said. “We’re not pulling him along.”
The Broncos literally had to pull along Booker, who gained just 35 yards on 18 carries Sunday, when his best run was a 6-yard touchdown in which left tackle Russell Okung pulled him into the end zone.
Denver claimed Forsett, a ninth-year pro, off waivers from Detroit on Monday. Forsett has had his best years under Kubiak, including a Pro Bowl season in 2014 in Baltimore, when he ran for a career-best 1,266 yards and eight TDs.
“It’s nice to walk on the field today and really didn’t have a new player in a lot of ways,” Kubiak said.
Kubiak said Forsett will “split time with Book, just like Kapri would have. It’s not like he’s been sitting. He’s been playing.”
Forsett has rushed for 136 yards on 44 carries in five games this year, two with the Lions and three with the Ravens.
Kubiak is counting on Forsett also helping Booker, who has faded since Anderson got hurt in October. He’s not breaking many tackles or hitting many creases.
“I think the biggest thing with Devontae, a bunch got put on his plate,” Kubiak said. “So, I think if Justin can come in and do the things I know he’s capable of doing, maybe it takes a little bit off of Book, and I think that may help in a lot of ways.”
He’ll also help protect the QB, whoever that will be.
Kubiak said he was preparing both Siemian and Lynch to start against Tennessee.
While Lynch was running the show last week, Siemian had some fun, recreating Peyton Manning’s famous photo from a year ago of the injured QB sitting in a hot tub with his helmet on and watching practice on his iPad.
Siemian posted the photos side by side on his Twitter account.
“I’d like to go on record that Peyton was flexing in his picture,” Siemian said. “I’m getting a lot of heat that he looks stronger than me. So, I’ve got to clear that air.”
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