Denver has a vacancy for the starting role after incumbent Trevor Siemian partially dislocated his left shoulder in Thursday's win over the Colts, with Joseph announcing Friday that the injury would sideline Siemian for the remainder of the season. Osweiler, who was impressive in relief of Siemian on Thursday while completing 12 of 17 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns and adding another score on the ground, is the only signal caller on the roster who's currently healthy, but Joseph expressed optimism that Paxton Lynch (ankle) would be ready to suit up in Week 16. Despite Osweiler's stellar outing Thursday, he's not viewed as a long-term solution under center, whereas Lynch, a 2016 first-round pick, still has some perceived upside. With that in mind, the 5-9 Broncos could have more incentive to have Lynch direct the offense the next two weeks if his ankle injury doesn't prove to be too much of a concern.
Osweiler completed 12 of 17 passes for 194 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in Thursday's 25-13 win over the Colts. He also rushed three times for 17 yards and another score and completed a two-point conversion pass.
Osweiler came on in relief of Trevor Siemian (shoulder) in the first quarter and directed an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive on his second possession, which he capped off with an 18-yard scoring scamper. The former second-round pick subsequently led marches of 79 and 67 yards that culminated in touchdown passes to Cody Latimer and Jeff Heuerman, respectively. Thursday's appearance was arguably the 27-year-old's best of 2017, and with news that Siemian is expected to miss the last two games of the season with his injury, Osweiler will have a chance to make a positive impression heading into the offseason beginning with a Week 16 tilt against the Redskins.
Confirming numerous reports that surfaced a day earlier, the Broncos officially announced Wednesday that Paxton Lynch would take over as the team's starting quarterback this week, an unsurprising development given that Osweiler completed just 53.1 percent of his passes while turning the ball over four times as the Broncos went 0-3 during his run as starter. What was more unexpected was Osweiler's fall from first to third on the depth chart, as Trevor Siemian, who was inactive for the Week 11 loss to the Bengals, will step in as the top understudy to Lynch. Look for the Broncos to make Osweiler one of their seven inactive players Sunday.
Confirming an earlier report, Osweiler will be benched for Sunday's game against the Raiders with the Broncos set to officially name Paxton Lynch as their new starting quarterback Wednesday, Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post reports.
After replacing the struggling Trevor Siemian as the team's starter in Week 9, Osweiler was always believed to be keeping the seat warm for Lynch, who had been inactive for the first 10 games of the season while recovering from a right shoulder sprain. Lynch was elevated to backup duties for Sunday's loss to the Bengals while Osweiler failed to spark the offense for the third consecutive outing, completing 23 of 42 passes for 254 yards, a touchdown and an interception. With the Broncos eager to see what they have in Lynch, a 2016 first-round pick, in the midst of a losing season, neither Osweiler nor Siemian is likely to earn another look in a starting role the rest of the way, barring an injury to Lynch. It's unclear which of the two remaining signal callers will act as Lynch's understudy in the Week 12 matchup.
Per Mike Klis of 9 News Denver, the Broncos' coaching staff hasn't informed any of the team's quarterbacks about who will start Sunday against the Raiders, but Osweiler always seemed likely to lose out on the gig once Lynch, who acted as the backup in Week 11 against the Bengals, was deemed healthy enough to play again after missing extended time with a right shoulder injury. Osweiler hasn't helped his case for retaining starting duties with the Broncos going 0-3 since he replaced Trevor Siemian atop the depth chart, with the signal caller completing just 53.1 percent of his passes and tossing four interceptions in those contests. The inexperienced Lynch carries similar concerns about his accuracy and ball security, but unlike Osweiler, he brings more mobility and untapped upside to the position, something the non-contending Broncos are surely interested in mining over the season's final stanza. Assuming Lynch does in fact garner the Week 12 start, it's unclear if Osweiler or Siemian would dress as his backup.
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