Brock Osweiler is expected start for the Denver Broncos at quarterback in their Christmas Eve clash with the Washington Redskins.
While the news hasn’t been made official by the team, ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeff Legwold reported the decision after speaking to league sources.
The Broncos had been hoping to give second-year QB Paxton Lynch some much-needed game time after he missed most of the season recovering from a shoulder injury, but the 2016 first-round pick hasn’t fully recovered from the high ankle sprain that knocked him out of his only start against Oakland in week 12.
Lynch returned to practice Wednesday, and took equal reps with Osweiler in practice, with the Broncos prepared to start him in the final two games as they evaluate whether he has a long-term future in Denver, but was listed as limited Friday and questionable to play.
It means a return to the starting lineup for Osweiler, who overturned a 10-0 deficit to lead the Broncos to a 25-13 victory against Indianapolis last Thursday after he came in for the injured Trevor Siemian.
Osweiler produced one of his best performances in the NFL with a passer rating of 147.7 as he went 12 of 17 for 194 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, in addition to a first-half rushing touchdown.
With Siemian now on injured reserve and no other quarterbacks on the roster, Lynch should be the backup in Landover with wide receiver Jordan Taylor again serving as the emergency backup.
While the Broncos will hope they don’t have to use Lynch or Taylor, they were further hampered on offense after receivers Emmanuel Sanders (ankle) and Cody Latimer (thigh) were ruled out on Saturday.
The Broncos will likely carry just four receivers with Demaryius Thomas, Jordan Taylor, Bennie Fowler III, and Isaiah McKenzie, who has been inactive since losing the punt return job, while rookie running back De’Angelo Henderson could see some work in the slot.