ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Just one week after calling off their five-month QB competition, the Denver Broncos have found themselves dealing with another quarterback conundrum.
The Broncos may have to carry three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster after losing backup Paxton Lynch for several weeks to a sprained right (throwing) shoulder suffered in Denver’s 20-17 exhibition win over Green Bay on Saturday night.
If Lynch’s injury makes him incapable of playing and at least handing the ball off, the Broncos would have to add another QB who wasn’t in their plans. They could either keep camp arm Kyle Sloter or grab a quarterback who becomes available when 1,200 players are cut this weekend.
They’re counting on Sloter to go the distance in their preseason finale Thursday night against Arizona to avoid having to turn to starter Trevor Siemian or their emergency QB, wide receiver Jordan “Sunshine” Taylor .
Taylor will take snaps at practice Tuesday for the first time since he was a high school option quarterback seven years ago.
If they have to keep an extra QB they’d have to cut a player they had hoped to keep, such as a running back, a wide receiver or a lineman.
The Broncos will rummage through other teams’ roster cuts this weekend to see if there’s a quarterback they’d prefer over Sloter to serve as Siemian’s backup when they open the season Sept. 11 against the Chargers.
If they do decide to bring in a different quarterback, chances are he’d be a young prospect and not a vested veteran whose entire 2017 salary would be guaranteed even if he’s only around for a couple of weeks.
“Every option’s going to be explored,” coach Vance Joseph said . “Right now we’re not” adding another quarterback. “We’re going to give Kyle the start and if Kyle is tying his shoe, we’ll put Trevor in and run the football. And we have at third guy who can play that position for us on Thursday night.”
That’s Taylor, who said, “I would assume it’s going to be probably just running the ball and handing it off. They might dial up a few quick passes here and there just in case for certain situations.”
Sloter has made that very transition from receiver to quarterback, starting his college career catching passes at Southern Mississippi before transferring to Northern Colorado and switching to quarterback.
Solid in relief of Siemian and Lynch all summer, Sloter has completed 16 of 20 throws for 193 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason.
“He’s played solid, and 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 released for the first time in NFL history. It could go a number of ways. But, right now, he’s played very well. It’s his offense on Thursday night.”
Sloter said his aim is to play well enough to give himself a shot at making the Broncos’ roster.
“I’m really just playing, like they say, for a job,” he said.
Taylor is likely to make the roster at receiver. Should he have to play quarterback Thursday night he has a ready answer for any of his fellow receivers who come back to the huddle complaining they were wide open.
“I’ll tell them I know the feeling,” Taylor said.
NOTES: Joseph said DE Zach Kerr (bruised knee) will miss a couple of weeks. … NT Kyle Peko (foot) came off the PUP list Monday and practiced for the first time. … Joseph said C Matt Paradis (hips) and RB Jamaal Charles (knees) came out of Saturday night’s extended action unscathed. … S Will Parks (hip pointer) practiced but WR Demaryius Thomas (thigh) was held out. Both got hurt against the Packers.
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