In the wake of Trevor Siemian’s foot injury, the Denver Broncos playoff fate could lie in the hands of rookie Paxton Lynch according to Adam Schefter.
It is only Thursday, but the rumors are already running rampant. Paxton Lynch very well could be the Denver Broncos starter Sunday as the Denver Broncos take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. Quarterback Trevor Siemian is dealing with a “foot sprain” he suffered in the overtime session of the loss to the Chiefs. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, it could be more than a one week gig.
Schefter joined Mark Schlereth and Mike Evans on Denver sports radio 104.3 The Fan this morning and made some interesting comments. Schefter stated he believed Paxton Lynch would start Sunday, and also speculated that the Broncos playoff fate could rest in the hands of the young rookie. What isn’t know is whethe Schefter has actual intel from his sources within the team, or is just basing his opinion on the fact that foot injuries are tough to overcome.
Either way, it is an extremely unfortunate injury for quarterback Trevor Siemian. He is coming off a 368-yard, 3-touchdown game—the finest performance of his young career. However, if one thing is known around here, it is that foot injuries can be the downfall of a season. In 2013 the Broncos lost both RT Ryan Clady, and cornerback Champ Bailey to Lisfranc injuries. This cost Clady the season, and Bailey all but five games that year. In those five games, he was not anywhere near the shut-down corner he had been throughout his career.
A year ago, the Broncos saw the great Peyton Manning fall victim to Plantar Faciitis. This is a different type of sprain in the foot than the one Bailey suffered from, but is tough nonetheless. In the span of two weeks, Manning went from throwing 340 yards and playing his best game of the season, to throwing 35 yards and four INT’s in the worst game of his career. This opened the gates to Brock Osweiler to start for the remainder of the regular season. Peyton reclaimed his job in the second half of week 17 on his way to a Super Bowl Championship sendoff.
The Broncos are classifying Siemian’s injury as a “foot sprain,” which could really be anything. Of course the Broncos want to downplay Siemian’s injury for the time being. However, the fact that Paxton Lynch met with the media on Wednesday was very telling as to what they believe. If this is Plantar Faciitis, or any type of injury to his Lisfranc, this is not going to be a “day-to-day” thing as the team has stated. This will be taken week-to-week, and could go as far as to end Siemian’s season.
New And Improved Paxton Lynch
When Lynch met with the media Wednesday, he sounded far more confident in his abilities now then he was in his week 5 start against the Falcons. “I’ll be a lot more comfortable out there than I was for the first time.” Lynch said. “I feel a lot more comfortable [now] than where I was when I started that game, so we’ll just see day-to-day what happens. I’ll just take the reps and whatever happens this week happens.”
Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison echoed the sentiment that he thought Lynch was ready if called upon. “Obviously the weeks have progressed and he gets to meet and he gets to practice. We’re comfortable. Obviously we have to be. We’ll put him in the right situation if he’s the guy.”
Paxton Lynch’s improvement has also caught the eye of other notable figures outside of the organization. NFL insider Cecil Lammey, from 104.3 The Fan has stated that Lynch has progressed mightily since his start against Atlanta. He has shown improved footwork and accuracy on touch passes. Both of these were areas of struggle against the Falcons.
If Paxton Lynch does get the start against Jacksonville, and shows that he has truly improved as everyone has said, the Broncos will have the luxury to ease Siemian back the way the did with Manning a season ago. The question then becomes, if Lynch plays very well, and more importantly, the Broncos continue to win, would a healthy Siemian eventually reclaim the job, as Peyton did for the playoffs, or would it be the rookie getting the nod to try and win another Super Bowl?
This whole situation seems eerily familiar. Buckle up Broncos Country, here we go again.