It’s official: Barring injury of unforeseen catastrophe (and don’t rule that out), Trevor Siemian will start for the Denver Broncos in their Sept. 8 season opener against the Carolina Panthers.
Siemian was named the team’s starter after a so-so performance Saturday against the Rams, as he completed 10 of 17 passes for 122 yards and threw for one touchdown and one interception. Now he’ll improbably take over for the Broncos under center, marking the first time a defending Super Bowl champions’ Week 1 starter has never attempted an NFL pass.
Denver took Siemian in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Last year, he rode the pine behind Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler. His only regular-season snap came in Week 15 against the Steelers. It was a kneel-down to end the half.
So, yeah, this should be interesting.
Siemian will face some tough tests from jump street. He’ll go up against a Carolina defense (minus Josh Norman, it must be said) that Football Outsiders ranked as the second-best in football last year. (Got a guess at who was No. 1? It rhymes with “the Denver Broncos.” It’s the Denver Broncos.)
And assuming he’s still the starter by Week 3, he’ll square off with the Cincinnati Bengals’ defense, which can be pretty terrifying in its own right.
The move to make Siemian the starter could also mean the end of the road for Mark Sanchez in Denver. Sanchez, a veteran the Broncos traded for in March, could face being cut. Altitude’s Vic Lomardi seemed to think this was inevitable Sunday.
The Broncos, one of the most cash-strapped teams in the league, could save $3.4 million by doing so before the Sept. 3 deadline. They’d also be able to keep their 2017 seventh-round pick.
That would mean Siemian and rookie Paxton Lynch are the team’s top two quarterbacks entering Week 1. Between them, they’ve attempted zero NFL passes. What a time to be alive.