The Denver Broncos have their Peyton Manning replacement.
Broncos coach Gary Kubiak informed the team on Monday that Trevor Siemian will be Denver’s starting quarterback. Siemian was in a competition with veteran Mark Sanchez and 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch.
The second-year pro, drafted out of Northwestern in the seventh round, has thrown for 285 yards this preseason. He has 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions in 43 preseason pass attempts.
Kubiak naming Simian the starter is an indication of how poorly Sanchez performed in his audition. The USC product is the only quarterback on the roster to make an NFL regular season start, but his knack for turnovers and mediocre play led to him to the bench.
Lynch, however, remains in the team’s long-term plans.
The 24-year-old Siemian is not expected to play in Denver’s final preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals.
“The thing about replacing Peyton — nobody is going to replace Peyton,” Siemian said, per the Broncos’ official website. “Those shoes are a little too big to fill. For me, I’m not reading too much into anything and trying to be the best teammate and leader I can be.”
Siemian not only has to replace a Hall of Fame player, he also has to deal with the sky-high expectations that come with quarterbacking the reigning Super Bowl champs.