ENGLEWOOD, Colo. —The Broncos will head into the regular season with three quarterbacks, which President of Football Operations/GM John Elway said was "the best decision for the Broncos."
Chad Kelly will back up starter Case Keenum, while Paxton Lynch will remain the team's third-string quarterback.
"Sitting right now, where we are at quarterback and who knows our system and going into the first game with Paxton being our third quarterback, I thought at this point in time, that's the best decision for us," Elway said. "Paxton continued to improve, but he is the third-string quarterback.
"That decision was made because we were looking at it and looking at the situation and with Chad not having a lot of experience and not having played in a regular season game before, we thought we had to go with three quarterbacks and Paxton was our third."
Elway said the Broncos considered signing a veteran quarterback to the roster, but that was not logistically feasible.
"The veteran quarterbacks didn't want to come in right now," Elway said. "We've talked to several and had discussions there. They all want to wait — the ones we were interested in."
That means, as the Broncos head toward a Week 1 matchup with Seattle, Lynch will continue to serve as the team's third-string quarterback.
And while Lynch's current role will be largely limited to running the Broncos' scout time, Head Coach Vance Joseph said he needs to see Lynch continue to improve.
"In my opinion, he played well the last two weeks," Joseph said. "I've been impressed with Paxton and how he's handled his demotion. He's been engaged, he's worked and having Case around has been good for him and Chad. I think keeping three quarterbacks for us is a good thing because that position is so important. If you have a guy you think can in the future can be a player, you've got to give him time to develop. That's my opinion on Paxton.
"He needs more time, but we all watched him play Thursday night. It looked real. I think with more time he's going to be fine for us, but it's an important spot in this league that you can't just let guys go if they have potential there."