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“Everything is possible” as Broncos mull quarterback options, even Colin Kaepernick

Zac Stevens Avatar
August 28, 2017

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Who knew a couple-week injury to a backup quarterback in the preseason would cause so much ruckus?

That’s exactly what’s happening with the Denver Broncos after it was announced on Monday that Paxton Lynch sustained a sprain to his throwing shoulder in Saturday night’s third preseason game and will miss “A couple of the real football games,” said head coach Vance Joseph.

Moving forward, Joseph said, “Everything is possible right now.”

As the Broncos prepare for their fourth preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals, Thursday night—typically a game when every starter has the game off—Joseph announced that 25-27 players, presumably all starters and then some, will not dress for the game.

That is, except for the team’s starting quarterback Trevor Siemian.

Undrafted rookie free agent Kyle Sloter not only will get the start, he will play the entire game if things go as planned. If for some reason Sloter can’t step on the field at any point in the game—because of injury or, as Joseph suggested, “tying his shoe”—Siemian will enter the game and simply hand off the football, minimizing his risk of getting injured.

If both Sloter and Siemian were unable to play, the Broncos, having no other quarterbacks to turn to, would be forced to audible on the quarterback situation by letting wide receiver Jordan “Sunshine” Taylor lead the offense.

With the NFL being the cold, harsh business it is, Joseph wouldn’t commit to Sloter beyond Thursday’s game, even though he’ll be the starter. When asked if the Broncos would be comfortable with Sloter as their No. 2 quarterback entering the season Sept. 11 against the Los Angeles Chargers, Joseph seemingly didn’t give the University of Northern Colorado product a ringing endorsement.

“He’s played solid. Right now, he’s the backup guy,” Joseph said. “Moving forward, there are going to be a lot of things happening between Friday and Saturday. There are going to be 1,100 players released for the first time in NFL history. So, it can go a number of ways, but right now he’s played very well, and it’s his offense on Thursday night.”

Joseph is, of course, referring to Saturday’s 2 p.m. MST deadline, where teams must cut their roster from 90 to 53 players, creating an enormous number of guys that will be available for any team to sign.

Statistically, Sloter has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL during the preseason, posting the second-best passer rating (for quarterbacks that have more than 10 attempts) on 80 percent completions to go along with two touchdowns and no interceptions. To be fair, that was mostly against third-string defenses.

Current free agent quarterbacks on the market include Robert Griffin III, Zach Mettenberger, Christian Ponder and most notably Colin Kaepernick. When asked if the Broncos would be interested in the much-talked-about Kaepernick, Joseph simply said, “Every option available will be explored. Every option.”

As it stands right now, the Broncos have as many injured quarterbacks on the roster—Lynch and Chad Kelly—as they do healthy ones. Combine that with the fact that Sloter’s last meaningful game was in November of 2016 in the Big Sky Conference; it’s easier to understand why “everything is possible” when it comes to the Broncos quarterback situation for the start of the season.

Eight days ago, the only uncertainty rested with who their starting quarterback would be. Now, that’s the only certainty.

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