SportPulse: It’s the most wonderful time of year! No, not Christmas. That window of time just after Week 1 of the NFL preseason where we get to overreact about everything.
Paxton Lynch’s first two years with the Denver Broncos didn’t go as either the quarterback or the organization had hoped. Now the former first-round draft pick finds himself in a precarious position on the preseason depth chart.
Lynch was demoted to the Broncos’ third string Monday, with Chad Kelly elevated to the backup role.
Broncos coach Vance Joseph says the switch mostly stemmed from a desire to give Kelly a chance after the 2017 seventh-round pick’s strong outing Saturday in the preseason opener against the Minnesota Vikings.
“(Lynch) has great potential, physical potential,” Joseph said in a news conference. “But it’s gotta equal performance eventually. And he understands that.”
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Lynch failed to seize the starting job in each of the last two seasons after being selected No. 26 overall in 2016 out of Memphis. He was given a chance to take over for the role last November after Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler floundered, but he suffered an ankle injury in his first game of the year against the Raiders.
Stepping in for new starter Case Keenum on Saturday, Lynch threw for just 24 yards and an interception on 6-of-11 passing and was booed by the home crowd.
Kelly, however, completed 14 of 21 passes for 177 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
“I’m coming out here to learn each and every day,” Kelly said Monday after practice. “Whatever I can, I’m going to keep on working extremely hard on the field and in the film room. I have to stay on top of it. When bullets are flying, make sure you execute.”
Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.