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Siemian has to pass on Pro Bowl invite

Have a year, Trevor Siemian.

<p>DENVER, CO - JANUARY 1: Quarterback Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos walks off the field after defeating the Oakland Raiders 24-6 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado.</p>

Have a year, Trevor Siemian.

His remarkable journey from relative unknown, seventh-round draft pick to surprise starter almost had an incredible ending Monday.

Siemian, the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback in 2016, was invited Monday to play for the AFC Pro Bowl team as an alternate. Unfortunately for Siemian, he had to pass as he’s two weeks removed from surgery on his left, non-throwing shoulder.

"When I first heard about it, I thought they must know I'm originally from Orlando and it would be easy to plug me in for the game,'' Siemian said in his ever-humble manner. "But obviously, it was really cool and a huge honor. It would have been cool to play with everyone I respect, especially our own guys who are going to be there. It was still an awesome honor.''

Siemian is rehabbing his shoulder in Orlando and is planning to hook up with his Pro Bowl teammates at some point this week.

The Broncos’ brass may want to give Paxton Lynch every chance to become their starting quarterback in 2017. Lynch, though, will have to improve dramatically if he is to unseat the incumbent, Siemian.

After mostly spending his rookie season of 2015 watching Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler play their final season with the Broncos, Siemian won a fierce quarterback competition last year in beating out veteran Mark Sanchez and Lynch, who was the team’s first-round draft pick.

Siemian exceeded expectations by passing for 3,401 yards and 18 touchdowns against 10 interceptions in 14 starts.

He got the invite after several quarterbacks had to decline the invitation -- Tom Brady because he is playing in the Super Bowl in two weeks, and Derek Carr and Ben Roethlisberger because of injuries. Andy Dalton and Alex Smith accepted invitations to replace them. Other AFC quarterbacks declining invites were Buffalo’s Tyrod Taylor and presumably San Diego’s Philip Rivers.

Two other AFC quarterbacks – Marcus Mariota and Ryan Tannehill – also suffered season-ending injuries late in the season.

Still, quarterbacks have played in the Pro Bowl coming off seasons far less productive than the one Siemian just put up. In fact, he outplayed Dalton and Smith in games this season. In a win at Cincinnati in week 3 and loss to Kansas City in week 12, Siemian combined for 680 yards passing, 7 touchdowns and zero interceptions.

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