CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Despite being reduced to a spoiler role, the Broncos will start quarterback Trevor Siemian in the season finale, but Paxton Lynch will play, according to coach Gary Kubiak.
It represented a compromise for a team knocked out of the playoff race.
The thinking? Siemian won the job in camp, held it during the season, thus earned the right to be under center Sunday. However, Lynch, the team's first-round draft choice, will follow Siemian, receiving much-needed reps as the team begins evaluations for the 2017 season. Kubiak would not reveal when Lynch would enter the game.
"They're both young players. Obviously one of them is younger than the other by about 10 or 11 games. But I think Trevor deserves the right to back back out there as the starter," Kubiak said Wednesday. "He's done a lot of good things this year. He needs to keep going. I want him to get the Kansas City taste out of his mouth."
Siemian is coming off his worst game as a pro, completing 17 of 43 passes for 183 yards and an interception against the Chiefs. According to Pro Football Focus, Siemian connected on three of 13 passes of more than 10 yards and completed just two passes when pressured.
"I'd like to play today, truthfully," said Siemian of his anxiousness to erase the memory of last Sunday. "Hopefully we will walk away with a win and get the offseason headed in the right direction."
The former Northwestern standout has taken the care of the ball this season, but the overall offense is worse than a year ago with similar passing statistics. The Broncos rank 26th in completion percentage (59.3), 23rd in yards per attempt (6.83) and fifth in sacks allowed (40). Compare that to last season when Denver led the league in interceptions and was 25th in completion percentage (6.96), 23rd in yards per attempt (6.96) and 13th in sacks (39).
Lynch is 1-1 as a starter, playing in three games. The Broncos moved up in the draft to select the former Memphis star. His time will come again Sunday. It's uncertain when.
"I kind of have it in my mind, but I've got to see how the game goes, too," Kubiak said.
Lynch's best performance came in relief against Tampa Bay after Siemian sprained his left shoulder. Lynch lost against Atlanta, and won versus Jacksonville, though he completed 12 passes, and the team didn't convert a third down in the second half.
"I need to continue to work on my timing and footwork," Lynch said. "I am looking forward to Sunday."