Now on the outside of the AFC playoff race, the 7-4 Broncos will likely be without starting quarterback Trevor Siemian on Sunday in Jacksonville, according to Troy Renck of Denver7 and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Siemian’s left foot is in a walking boot, and he sat out Thursday’s practice as a result.
If Siemian isn’t able to play, the Broncos will turn to first-round rookie Paxton Lynch for his second career start. In his previous outing, a 23-16 loss to the Falcons on Oct. 9, the ex-Memphis star filled in for a banged-up Siemian and completed 23 of 35 passes for 223 yards, a touchdown and an interception. In total, Lynch has hit on 37 of 59 attempts for 393 yards, two scores and a pick this season.
The Broncos haven’t had to force Lynch into action this year because of Siemian’s respectable performance. In his first action as a starter, the second-year man and 2015 seventh-rounder has tossed 15 TDs against seven INTs, also averaging 7.37 yards per attempt and posting an 89.2 passer rating. While Siemian hasn’t been great, he has been an upgrade over the Broncos’ 2015 duo of Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler, and he’s coming off one of his best showings. In a 30-27 loss to the AFC West rival Chiefs last Sunday, Siemian went 20 of 34 for 368 yards and three scores. That defeat knocked the Broncos out of the top six in the AFC, though, and the defending Super Bowl champions are now primed to go without their top signal-caller against the 2-9 Jaguars.
Denver will conclude the season with much tougher opponents in the Titans, Patriots, Chiefs and AFC West-leading Raiders, likely making the Jags game a must-win affair. Tennessee, New England, Kansas City and Oakland boast a combined 32-13 record.
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