ENGLEWOOD—If Trevor Siemian is going to play Sunday, he might want to ask the Atlanta Falcons if he can wear one of those "don't-hit-me'' pullover jerseys.
If not -- and the answer would be an emphatic 'no' -- it was difficult to imagine as of Wednesday that Siemian was going to be able to play quarterback in four more days. Yes, the injury is to his non-throwing shoulder. But it's one thing to get the shoulder healed up enough to play and another to get it so it can absorb a hit from the likes of Dwight Freeney and the Atlanta Falcons' defense.
“We don’t ever want to put anybody out there who can’t do their job,'' said Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak. "If a guy can go out there and protect himself and do his job, as a coach, no matter what position he plays, probably go on a different direction that day. I think he’s progressing well, like I said. We feel very fortunate coming out of the game and we’ll see where he’s at each day
And don't forget, there's a reason why man invented cortisone.
Like the rest of the Denver Broncos players, Siemian wore his jersey, shorts and helmet for practice Wednesday. Unlike the others, Siemian did not physically participate in the sessions because of his sprained left shoulder.
Kubiak said Monday he expects Siemian to start Sunday against the Falcons even if the quarterback doesn’t participate much in practice.
“I feel good,'' Siemian said. "I trust the coaches and I think they’ll get us all ready to play, including me. I’ll be ready to go if we get there.”
Kubiak said Siemian would be a game-time decision but he will probably have a decent idea by Friday who will start in the game Sunday against Atlanta.
With Siemian observing but not participating at the workout held at the UCHealth Training Center, rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch led the first-team offense Wednesday. Lynch came off the bench for the injured Siemian in the final 2 minutes of the first half Sunday at Tampa Bay and performed well, leading the Broncos to 13 points on 14 of 24 passing.
“It definitely feels good knowing that I’ve played in a game if I were to start or play in this game,'' Lynch said. "It feels good to get some game reps under your belt so you’re not just thrown out there.”
Broncos tight end Virgil Green was practicing for the first time since he suffered a strained left calf in game 2 against Indianapolis as did right tackle Donald Stephenson, who strained his left calf in the same game against Indy.
Backup cornerback Kayvon Webster sat out practice after he popped his hamstring in the second half at Tampa Bay.
The Broncos are 4-0 while the Falcons are 3-1 with three consecutive wins entering their non-conference game that kicks off at 2:05 p.m. Sunday at soon-to-be-renamed Sports Authority Field at Mile High.