CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Momentum continues to build for Trevor Siemian to return Thursday against the San Diego Chargers. The second-year pro pushed the conversation in that direction with his blunt response Tuesday when asked if he would start.
"Yeah I think so," Siemian said.
Siemian explained his sprained left shoulder has made significant strides since Tampa Bay's Clinton McDonald slammed him to the turf nine days ago. Siemian admitted he was close to playing against the Atlanta Falcons before coach Gary Kubiak pulled the plug on Saturday night. In an indication of the team's optimism, if not Siemian's specifically, Kubiak told him to begin breaking down Chargers film last weekend.
When asked if he thought Siemian would be back, receiver Demaryius Thomas said, "I hope so."
Interim coach Joe DeCamillis labeled it a game-time decision on Siemian. Rookie Paxton Lynch made his starting debut in the loss, and his inexperience showed. While displaying terrific athleticism, Lynch held onto the ball too long, was sacked six times and received little help from a running game that has failed to gain traction over the past three weeks.
The Broncos blamed lack of execution for their offensive hiccups. Substitutions have played a role. Broncos tight end Virgil Green predicted he would return from his three-game absence with a calf injury and right tackle Donald Stephenson told Denver7 on Tuesday that he's "hopeful" this is the week he plays. He said he might have started last Sunday if it were a playoff game.
"I feel really good, but still waiting to see," Stephenson said.
Siemian conceded it has been a different week with coach Kubiak gone. Kubiak plays a pivotal role in the game plan and coaching the quarterbacks. Kubiak tried to participate this week at the hospital on Sunday before offensive coordinator Rick Dennison shut him down. "Just rest," Dennsion told him.
Kubiak is resting comfortably at home, taking medication with his wife's helpful reminders to relieve the issues surrounding his complex migraine headache. In his absence, Dennison and quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp will call plays, leaning heavily on Dennison early in the game because of the established script.
The Broncos view the Chargers as dangerous. They have lost four games, but none by double digits. They have messed up more leads than a cub reporter. But their talent brings a real challenge for a Broncos team looking to extend its 15-game AFC West road winning streak.
"They do a lot schematically. They will throw a lot at you," said Siemian, who is 4-0 as a starter. "They are an athletic group with a nose for the football. ... I am expecting to play."
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