ENGLEWOOD—It could have been worse, but Denver Broncos’ backup quarterback Paxton Lynch will miss the early part of the season with a badly bruised right throwing shoulder.
"It will be a couple games,'' said Broncos head coach Vance Joseph. "Not counting Thursday. A couple of the real football games.''
9News was the first to report Lynch's injury and how many games he could miss. He could miss as many as the Broncos' first four games, sources told 9News. Week 5 is the Broncos' bye week.
Lynch suffered the injury while getting sacked to end his first drive early in the third quarter of the Broncos’ 20-17 preseason win Saturday night against the Green Bay Packers.
The Broncos’ first-round draft pick last year, Lynch learned last week he had lost his battle with Trevor Siemian to become the team’s starting quarterback.
Siemian played the first half against the Packers and Lynch played just the one series in the second half before departing.
There was fear Lynch, who landed full force on his right elbow, had suffered more damage. But the Broncos came away feeling fortunate that no surgery was required, at least not now.
However, Lynch will miss at least two games, and maybe even a month, of the regular season.
Kyle Sloter, an undrafted rookie from Northern Colorado, has been the Broncos’ No. 3 quarterback and while he has performed extremely well in the preseason, there may be a belief among some of the team’s decision-makers he’s not quite ready to make the jump to NFL game-day backup quarterback.
The Broncos are expected to bring in a veteran NFL quarterback to serve as Siemian’s backup. That quarterback is expected to come from the heap of 1,184 players moved off teams' rosters by 2 p.m. Saturday. It is possible the Broncos would surrender a late-round draft pick in exchange for a quarterback who is not expected to make another team's roster. Joseph said the team would not add a quarterback prior to the team's fourth and final preseason game against Arizona on Thursday night (7 p.m., Channel 20).
The plan is for Sloter to play the entire game. If he sprains an ankle, the Broncos could use either Siemian to run nothing but running plays, or use receiver Jordan Taylor in an emergency. Taylor was a high school quarterback in Denison, Texas but hasn't played the position since his senior year in 2009.
"Yeah, it will definitely be interesting,'' Taylor said. "Tomorrow we're going to do some basic procedure stuff to kind of get me going a little bit. And then we'll see what kind of offense they dial up. I don't know, it will probably be pretty limited.''
The Broncos are not expected to sign the unemployed likes of Colin Kaepernick or Robert Griffin III because they are looking for a short-term, backup option. Also, the team's preference is to bring in a quarterback who has recently played through the offseason, training camp and preseason.