Lynch completed 30 of 45 passes for 295 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions during 2017. He added 30 yards and two fumbles on five carries.
General manager John Elway lamented that the team didn't get to see much of Lynch this season during his year-end press conference. The second-year passer missed much of the season with a sprained throwing shoulder and then sprained his ankle a little more than halfway through his first start. Lynch made some big-time throws in Week 17 against the Chiefs, but also turned the ball over three times. Obviously, you'd want to see your first-round pick play more than about 16 quarters in two seasons before thinking about making a switch, but Denver is in a unique position. With the fifth overall pick, the Broncos are in prime territory to nab Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, or Baker Mayfield. Denver might also be in on Kirk Cousins. It might not be fair to Lynch, but Denver seems likely to move on this offseason.
Lynch completed 21 of 31 passes for 254 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions during Sunday's 27-24 loss to Kansas City. He added 13 yards on three carries and lost a fumble.
Lynch capped off his 2017 with a six-yard touchdown toss to Demaryius Thomas in the back of the end zone to tie the score at 24. It's fair to wonder how many more of those Lynch will have in orange and blue. The second-year passer had far and away the best start of his career on Sunday, but delivered a number of costly turnovers, including a strip sack that Kansas City returned for a score. The size, strength, and speed have never been a problem for Lynch, it's been the happy feet and missed reads. It's hard to see that improving as Denver faces the possibility of giving Lynch his fourth coordinator in three seasons this offseason.
After being limited to backup duties in the Week 16 loss to the Redskins while he continued to recover from a high-ankle sprain, Lynch was widely viewed as the leading candidate to start the season finale if his ankle didn't prove to be an issue. It was expected the Broncos would at least wait and see what Lynch was able to do at Wednesday's practice before rendering a decision on a starter, but the team was apparently content enough with the quarterback's health two days after the loss to Washington to feel comfortable having him return to the No. 1 role. Brock Osweiler will thus assume backup duties on the heels of a mediocre outing, but it's hard to envision Lynch being a vast upgrade at quarterback. Though Lynch's first-round pedigree theoretically gives him a high ceiling, he's struggled to move the chains during his four NFL appearances to date, completing 59.7 percent of his passes for 5.5 yards per attempt.
Broncos head coach Vance Joseph reiterated after Sunday's 27-11 loss to the Redskins that Lynch would likely start Week 17 against the Chiefs if the quarterback's sprained ankle cooperates, Aric DiLalla of the Broncos' official site reports. "Our goal is to see [Lynch] play, so absolutely," Joseph said. "If he's ready to go next week, he will probably play for us."
Lynch and Brock Osweiler split first-team reps throughout practice last week, but Osweiler received the nod Sunday when it was determined that the lingering effects of Lynch's high-ankle sprain would limit the second-year signal caller to backup duties. Even if Osweiler had performed well in the blowout loss -- he completed 22 of 38 passes for 193 yards and tossed two interceptions -- a healthy Lynch would likely still be considered the favorite to start the regular-season finale, as his status as a 2016 first-round pick has Denver eager to see what he can do heading into 2018. Lynch was a limited participant in two of the Broncos' three practices last week, so if he's able to put in a full session or two in the coming days, Joseph should feel more comfortable turning the offense over to the 23-year-old. Though Lynch has more perceived upside than Osweiler, he has yet to show much promise in four career appearances. With a 59.7 percent completion mark for a weak 5.5 yards per attempt and two touchdowns against two interceptions in those contests, Lynch should be treated as a lower-tier fantasy option at quarterback if he garners the Week 17 start.
Lynch (ankle) is active for Sunday's game against the Redskins, but will dress as the backup to Brock Osweiler, Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post reports.
Though Lynch was able to practice all week and even put in a full session Friday, the Broncos' coaching staff evidently wasn't convinced that the quarterback was running at full strength. As a result, Lynch will be limited to the understudy role Sunday, but the expectation is that if he endures no further setbacks with the sprained ankle, he'll receive the starting assignment for the season finale against the Chiefs. Osweiler is set to become a free agent this offseason and may not have a future with the organization, so it behooves the Broncos to take a longer look at Lynch, a 2016 first-round pick.
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