DENVER — Trevor Siemian did his part to keep the starting quarterback job for the Denver Broncos in Saturday night’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams. And now he will wait to see if Broncos coach Gary Kubiak agrees.
Siemian, who has started the past two preseason games for the Broncos and remains on the inside track to start the Sept. 8 regular-season opener against the Carolina Panthers, finished the first half 10-of-17 passing for 122 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Rookie Paxton Lynch was the second quarterback into the game, ahead of Mark Sanchez. It means the Broncos are contemplating a Siemian-Lynch pairing as the top two quarterbacks on the depth chart. Neither has started a regular-season game. Though Siemian was the team’s No. 2 quarterback down the stretch last season as Peyton Manning recovered from a foot injury, his regular-season resume is just one snap against the Pittsburgh Steelers last December, and the play was a kneel-down.
The Broncos opened the game as if they had seen enough of Siemian in practice, running the ball on six consecutive snaps in two drives. Each finished with a punt after a three-and-out. Siemian had missed Tuesday’s practice with a bruised right shoulder, but threw Wednesday and Thursday to keep the scheduled start against the Rams.
Overall, one of Siemian’s incompletions was a drop and later replays appeared to show the ball hit the ground before Cody Davis had rolled over and run with it on an interception. But after a replay review, the Rams were awarded the ball.
The Broncos answered the turnover with a seven-play, 67-yard touchdown drive. Siemian was 4-of-4 passing on the drive for 25 yards, including a 1-yard scoring pass to tight end Virgil Green. Siemian also completed a 43-yarder to Demaryius Thomas just before halftime as the Broncos were able to put together a field goal drive in the final 47 seconds.
Lynch’s entry ahead of Sanchez says a lot about what the team is thinking on the depth chart. Lynch has largely gone against third-teamers in his two appearances in the preseason, so Saturday was the first time Lynch had come into a game that early.
Also at work is the business side of things, given the Broncos do not have to surrender a compensatory draft pick to the Philadelphia Eagles as part of the trade to acquire Sanchez if he is not on the roster to start the season.