ENGLEWOOD, Colo. —** As the Broncos began their on-field preparation for Denver's Week 16 against the Redskins, they did so with the unmade decision of who will start at quarterback still lingering.
The two options — Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch — split repetitions with the first-team offense, giving each player a taste of the game plan for Sunday, and as the decision draws near, they're keeping their minds open to whichever way Head Coach Vance Joseph falls on the move.
"I'm not concerned with that," said Osweiler, when asked if the later decision bothers him. "You guys know me. I'm going come to the building every day, study hard, work hard, have fun out there on the football field. If my number gets called, I'm going to be ready to go. I'll be ready to lead this football team. But that decision is out of my control."
Osweiler is coming off of his best game of the season, but he said he has no expectations about whether that performance will have much bearing on the decision.
"Not one bit," Osweiler said. "There's a lot of things that take place in this business that you can't control, and I think the sooner you learn that, the better mindset you'll have toward situations like this. I support whatever the front office and coaches decide. I'm just here to work hard and play quarterback when my number is called."
Lynch and Osweiler are of the same mind there. Preoccupying themselves with the decision over their own play is not a priority they can afford to have.
"If I get the opportunity to play, I'm going to go out there and play," Lynch said. "I think it's really up to the guys in the training rooms and [Director of Sports Medicine Steve] 'Greek' [Antonopulos] and the coaches that they want me out there playing. I'm just going out there and moving around as best as I can, and they're going to evaluate me. If they feel like I'm good enough to play, then they'll make that decision. But if not, I've just got to live with that. So I'm just trying to control what I can control."
Lynch, should he get the start on Sunday, would return to game action for the first time since suffering a sprained ankle during the Broncos' Week 12 game against the Raiders. In the time since, he has focused on his recovery and kept hope alive for another opportunity to play this season.
"I'm just trying to stay positive and now that I've got this opportunity to possibly go out there and play this week and next week, I'm just trying to get my ankle ready to go in case I've got to go play," Lynch said.
As the decision approaches, one thing the quarterbacks all know is that the support they receive in their meeting room won't change.
"Everybody's been supportive of each other," Lynch said. "When one guy goes down, the next guy is up. And it's like that with every position, but I think when you've got a quarterback room like we do, it's good for everybody.
The Broncos have begun their week of practice preparation for their Week 16 game against the Redskins on Sunday. (Photos by Gabriel Christus, unless noted)