By Arnie Stapleton, AP Pro Football Writer
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Four days after declaring Trevor Siemian was still his starting quarterback, Broncos coach Gary Kubiak declined Friday to name Siemian the starter for the Broncos’ game against the Atlanta Falcons this weekend.
Kubiak said he wants to see Siemian throw again Saturday to make sure he’s healthy enough to play again after leaving last weekend’s game with a bruised left (non-throwing) shoulder.
Kubiak’s other option is giving rookie Paxton Lynch his first start against the league’s 30th-ranked defense, one that has an injury epidemic at linebacker.
Siemian was knocked from the game when he was spun to the turf on a sack last weekend and Lynch played well in relief, helping the Broncos beat the Buccaneers 27-7.
Kubiak said Siemian made good progress Friday but added that he’ll likely put him through a more strenuous workout on Saturday than players usually go through on the eve of a game.
Siemian is 4-0 as the Broncos starter. The Falcons (3-1) bring the league’s top offense to Denver but a defense that’s next-to-last against the pass and 30th overall, ahead of only New Orleans and Oakland.
Kubiak said the determining factor in giving Siemian the start is “me watching him work, watching him make the full throws. We moved him around a little bit today, which is something we didn’t do yesterday. So, we’ll just go back and look at the big picture. We’ll probably work him a little bit more tomorrow than we normally would a player on a Saturday just to get a look. But he’s made progress every day.”
The Falcons’ depleted defense might allow the Broncos to lean toward Lynch, their first-round draft pick, if Siemian isn’t 100 percent.
The Falcons ruled out three injured linebackers Friday, including starters Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell.
The Broncos have a quick turnaround because they play at San Diego next Thursday, but Kubiak said that won’t play a role in his QB decision.
Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter.