It seemed unlikely that starting quarterback Trevor Siemian would suit up Sunday after Paxton Lynch was named the starter Sunday against the Falcons.
Shortly before kickoff, it was made official.
Siemian was listed among the Broncos’ seven inactive players, along with outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (forearm), cornerback Kayvon Webster (hamstring), tight end Virgil Green (calf), offensive tackle Donald Stephenson (calf), safety Justin Simmons (wrist) and offensive lineman Connor McGovern.
Veteran Austin Davis will be Lynch’s backup at quarterback, as Siemian aims for Thursday night for his return.
Siemian sprained his left (nonthrowing) shoulder last Sunday at Tampa Bay and was replaced by Lynch late in the second quarter. He did not practice Wednesday and was limited Thursday and Friday as coach Gary Kubiak monitored his progress and mobility.
The Broncos play two games in a five-day span this week with Thursday night’s game at San Diego looming. The schedule likely factored into the decision for not just Siemian, but also Green and Stephenson. The two are recovering from calf injuries and did not play in Tampa. They were initially listed as questionable for the Falcons game, but took the field nearly three hours early to get in a workout with trainer Luke Richesson, typically a sign that a player will be inactive.
To fill their void, John Phillips will start at tight end and Ty Sambrailo will start at right tackle for the Broncos. Shane Ray will start for Ware, who was ruled out Friday, along with Webster, the team’s special-teams captain.
“(CB Lorenzo) Doss will definitely suit, so he moves up,” Kubiak said Friday of filling the void left by Webster. “He’s been working really well. … It’s time for him to contribute.”