It’s Paxton Lynch to the rescue in Denver.
Despite the Broncos’ hopes that quarterback Trevor Siemian could play through a left foot sprain this weekend against the Jaguars, the team will turn to their rookie first-round pick for the second time this year, coach Gary Kubiak said.
Siemian injured his foot in an overtime loss to the Chiefs a week ago. He is considered day-to-day, Kubiak said.
Lynch started for an injured Siemian back on Oct. 9 in a 23-16 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. In that game he completed 23 of 35 passes for 223 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He has 393 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on the season.
The Broncos (7-4) cannot afford a setback on the field this weekend. While the Jaguars might normally be a favorable opponent to start a rookie quarterback against, Lynch now shoulders the burden of keeping Denver’s playoff hopes alive. The Broncos are currently third in the division, but are a game out in the AFC wild-card race.
Denver still has matchups against the two teams ahead of them — Oakland and Kansas City — remaining on the schedule.
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Lynch flashed moments of promise in a limited sample size this year. His speed and pocket mobility are undoubtedly above average, but like every rookie the game needs to slow down for cheap NFL jerseys and him. Despite their dismal record, Jacksonville (2-9) boasts a budding pass rush, led by recently-awoken free agent tackle Malik Jackson. Jackson, a former Bronco, would probably love nothing more than to show his old general manager that he’s happy in Florida.
“The word around the league right now,” Garafolo said, “the word with people involved in coaching searches and gathering all of this information is that that’s the job Shanahan has his eyes on — going to Denver where his father coached.”
In that case, Shanahan is undaunted by the manifold shadows cast in Denver.
His father is the most successful coach in franchise history, hoisting back-to-back Lombardi Trophies with quarterback John Elway, who now runs the team’s football operations. He would be replacing 2015 Super Bowl-winner Gary Kubiak, under whom Shanahan developed his chops as precocious play-caller and quarterback whisperer with the Houston Texans from 2007 through 2009.
Why is the 37-year-old coordinator in such high demand? Only four teams in history — the 2000 Rams, 2011 Saints, 2012 Patriots and 2013 Broncos — have recorded more yards and points than the 2016 Falcons. Atlanta is one of just three teams this century to score on over half of its offensive possessions.
His golden touch has propelled Matt Ryan to the forefront of the MVP race, no surprise given Shanahan’s history with quarterbacks.
Before arriving as a godsend to Atlanta, Shanahan coaxed the best years out of Matt Schaub, schemed Robert Griffin III’s unparalleled Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign and guided Brian Hoyer to the best season by a Browns quarterback in NFL jerseys wholesale the past half-decade.
If he does land in Denver, Shanahan will be charged with resurrecting an offense that cost the team a chance to defend its Super Bowl title.