ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – Trevor Siemian won’t be sitting back and watching Paxton Lynch take all the snaps at the Denver Broncos’ minicamp in two weeks.
Coach Vance Joseph said at the start of his team’s offseason program Monday that Siemian had made a quicker-than-expected recovery from his offseason shoulder surgery.
“Trevor’s full-go, guys,” Joseph said. “He’s been cleared to be a full participant in the offseason program. So, he’s full-go. He’s ready to go, no issues.”
Siemian had surgery on his left shoulder Jan. 3 after playing three months with what’s been described as a grade-5 A.C. joint sprain, which he suffered in Week 4, forcing him to miss 1½ games. He also missed a game with a sprained foot.
The severity of his shoulder injury is usually seen in car crashes, not on football fields, and the recovery can take up to half a year.
Joseph said at the NFL combine last month that Siemian’s statistics – going 8-6 while throwing for 3,400 yards with 18 TDs and 10 interceptions – were all the more impressive when you consider he played most of the season with a severely damaged left shoulder.
It was expected that Lynch at least initially would get more snaps when the Broncos begin their on-field work with their April 24-27 minicamp.
Lynch won’t have that head-start now.
Joseph reiterated this is an open competition between Siemian, a 2015 seventh-rounder from Northwestern who won the job last year, and Lynch, the 26th overall pick in last year’s draft who is still adjusting to the pro offense after running the spread at Memphis.
“It is open, guys, it’s open, 50-50, it’s an open competition,” Joseph said. “We’ve got these two young guys who have bright futures and it’s open. It’s going to go down to the wire, I hope. Right now it’s a new system that’s going into place here with (offensive coordinator) Mike McCoy. So, it’s a fair, open competition and the best guy is going to play.”
Siemian has been working out in Denver for several weeks and Lynch returned recently to acclimate himself to the altitude.
“He’s been fine. He’s been around the last couple of weeks. He’s been engaged. He’s excited to be here. He’s got a big smile on his face, so that’s important,” Joseph said.
Asked what Lynch could do to impress the coaches, Joseph said, “Paxton was obviously a first-round pick for a reason. He’s a big guy with a big arm. He’s very athletic. I think playing that position is about decision-making. And if he does those things better, he’ll have a chance to compete to be our starting quarterback.”
Joseph said he’s not concerned about running back C.J. Anderson’s weight right now. A recent photo taken of Anderson at Joe Mixon’s youth football camp led to speculation that Anderson was out of shape as he recovers from a torn meniscus that sidelined him for half of last season.
“Well, it’s the offseason. I have no concerns. Phase I is designed to get the players in football condition. So, I have no concerns as far as C.J. getting in shape,” Joseph said. “The first game’s not until the fall, so we’ve got plenty of time to get him in shape. Obviously, with C.J., we’re going to take it slow, make sure he’s really ready to go for OTAs. That’s the most important date for C.J. That’s when the full practice starts, OTAs.”
That will be May 23.
NOTES: The Broncos’ preseason schedule consists of games at Chicago and San Francisco and home games against the Packers and Cardinals. … Joseph wouldn’t say if there were any players who didn’t report, saying, “I didn’t take roll, but it was a good turnout.” … Asked if his starting left tackle was currently on the roster, Joseph demurred: “Hard to say. We don’t play for a while.” … Joseph took in the Rockies’ home opener Friday and the Nuggets’ home finale Sunday. “It’s been fun. It’s a great sports city and the city’s grown since I’ve lived here before. It’s a big city now. The traffic, I mean, wow. It’s heavy traffic.”
– By ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Sports Writer
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