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NFL AM: Paxton Lynch Has Inside Track At Starting Gig For Broncos

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Rookie Paxton Lynch Could Be The Starter

If you have two quarterbacks you have none.  If you have three quarterbacks, you really have none and younger/highest drafted rules begin to go into effect.

It appears that is what is happening with the Denver Broncos.

Veteran Mark Sanchez had the inside track on becoming the team’s starter, but three turnovers in two games have left the door open for both Trevor Siemian and rookie Paxton Lynch.

Lynch was figured to be “a project” that would need time before he was ready to play with the one’s.  The same thing was said of Cam Newton, who capped off a Rookie of the Year campaign in 2011.

“He’s always been in the mix,” Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak told reporters after Saturday’s preseason loss to the 49ers. “I just told you guys that he’s behind the other two from a knowledge standpoint, but we’ve been out there competing every day. Everybody is in competition to play.”

If Sanchez can’t protect the football, then what is the value of starting him?

“At the end of the day, it’s your job to protect the ball,” Kubiak said. “That’s the most important thing. That’s something that coming out of tonight wasn’t good enough.”

If you’re not going to start Sanchez, what is the purpose of starting Siemian when your first round pick and future of the franchise could be receiving valuable reps?

“I’m going to play the guy that I think is best for our team,” Kubiak said. “We have three guys out there battling. Obviously [Lynch] is a young kid. He did some really good stuff tonight. He made some mistakes, too. I think I’ve continued to tell you guys that he is behind the others from a knowledge standpoint as far as running the group. Obviously we need to keep coming, keep bringing him along. We’re going to keep working here, find the guy that we think is best for our football team and go from there.”

With one of the league’s premiere defenses, not a ton is asked out of the quarterback position in Denver.  Basically, hand the ball off and throw some wide receiver screens to Demaryius Thomas and the occasional deep ball to Emmanuel Sanders.

What Lynch needs over the next two weeks is more reps with the first-team offense.  The more comfortable he gets, the quicker Kubiak can hand over the proverbial keys.  Everyone in Broncos Country knows that Lynch is the future of the team and aside from showcasing Siemian for a potential trade, there’s no good reason for him to take any more reps from last year’s Heisman Trophy darkhorse.

Dion Lewis Needs Knee Surgery

The New England Patriots found another diamond in the rough last season when former University of Pittsburgh and Cleveland Browns running back Dion Lewis showed his ability to be a legitimate third down weapon for the team.

Lewis tore his ACL last November and his status since then has been, well questionable.  That isn’t a huge surprise as the Patriots are one of the most tight-lipped franchises in all of sports and Bill Belichick throws around health updates like he would compliments.

A Boston Globe report by Jim McBride says that Lewis will need another surgery, but at this point it’s unclear whether it will be on the same ACL that he tore last year.   Tom Curran of CSN New England is reporting that the surgery will not involve his ACL, but will require an 8-10 week timetable for complete recovery.

This is another blow to a Patriots team that will be without Tom Brady for the first four games of the season due to his ridiculous Deflategate suspension.  New England’s running back depth has plenty of questions as they currently have a healthy LeGarrette Blount, James White, James Develin, Brandon Bolden, Tyler Gaffney, Joey Iosefa and D.J. Foster.  It’s unlikely that anyone will be too excited about drafting any of those options for fantasy.

No More Probable Designation

Beginning each Wednesday prior to a Sunday game, the NFL mandates it’s teams give out an injury report with four designations.  Those designations are Probable, Questionable, Doubtful and Out.

Initially, probable was supposed to be a team admitting that there’s a 75 percent chance the player would play; Questionable would be a 50/50 shot; Doubtful is roughly 25 percent and obviously out is out.

With roughly 95 percent of players listed as probable playing on Sunday’s, the league has done away with the designation, according to NFL Media.

Why would the league even give out these designations?

For competitive balance purposes?

Yeah, right.  This is another example of the wink-wink agreement the NFL has with gambling, as football is by far the easiest sport to wager on.  The injury reports help set lines and casinos depend mostly on their inside people and media reports, but also these designations.

It’s unclear whether anyone in Las Vegas okay’d this change in the rules, but it’s likely that someone was consulted.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.