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Chad Kelly promoted to backup quarterback role

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — After a strong performance against the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday, Chad Kelly has earned the Broncos' backup quarterback role, Head Coach Vance Joseph said Monday.

"Chad's played well," Joseph said. "He played well in the scrimmage, he played well on Saturday night. He deserves a chance to be the [second-string] guy right now."

Kelly completed 14-of-21 passes on Saturday for 177 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He posted a quarterback rating of 104.7 during his time with the third-string offense.

Paxton Lynch, who held the backup role until Monday, was pushed down to the third team after he finished 6-of-11 for 24 yards, an interception and a 22.2 quarterback rating against the Vikings.

"Obviously, [Paxton's] disappointed, but he understands it's a performance business," Joseph said. "He has great potential — physical potential — but it's got to equal performance eventually. He understands that. It's a performance league, and everything we do, it's graded and it's counted.

"It's really more about what Chad's done, honestly. Chad's played well. He's played with poise, he's played with confidence. He moved the ball for us on Saturday night. It's been that way since the spring. He had a great spring, he's had a great camp, so it's his turn to be the [No.] 2 [quarterback]. He's earned that."

Though Kelly now holds the backup spot, Joseph emphasized the competition will not end.

"It's no different," Joseph said. "He has to go out and continue to play well as our No. 2. The same with Paxton. He has to compete and get better as a quarterback. It's not over. We're still competing, but the depth chart is fluid, and it rewards guys who are playing well. It's only right.

"That's what we live by with our players: If you're playing well and you earn it, you push up and you get it. It's a fair league."

Kelly, who deferred the credit for his promotion to his teammates, doesn't seem like he's going to shy away from that competition.

"I'm coming out here to learn each and every day," Kelly said. "Whatever I can do, I'm going to keep on working extremely hard. Whether it's out here on the field or it's in the film room, I've got to make sure I stay on top of it. When bullets are flying, make sure you execute."

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