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Five Broncos things you should know: As Trevor Siemian heals, Paxton Lynch prepares, and more


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- **With Trevor Siemian in a walking boot to allow his left foot to recover from the sprain he suffered in overtime Sunday night, Paxton Lynch took the first-team repetitions during Wednesday's practice.

Siemian will remain day-to-day, but if the Broncos need Lynch to start, they're "comfortable" he will be ready and deliver, Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison said.

"Obviously we'll put him in the right situation if he's the guy," Dennison said. "If Trevor's the guy, we'll put him in the right situation. We tend to try and do that, try to give them all the best chance to win."



For nearly all of last season, Siemian got the same repetitions that Lynch has received throughout this season, which comes with two benefits.

First, he goes against the league's top-ranked defense against the pass, which forces him to adjust to that unit's speed.

"You're getting reps against the best defense in the league," Lynch said. "So when I get those reps, I take them seriously and try to make the throws every time."

But impersonating another team's quarterback and offense also forces him out of his comfort zone. Each week, Lynch has to tweak his game to replicate Drew Brees' quick timing passes, or Philip Rivers' penchant for staying in the pocket and buying time for his downfield targets, among other skill sets.

"It just gives you a chance to try new things," Lynch said. "When you're running the scout-team offense sometimes, you've got to throw to certain guys, so it gives you the opportunity to work your eyes, or work certain throws. You kind of build your confidence that way to see what kind of throws you can make."

Extra repetitions at the end of practice have also helped Lynch's progress. Head Coach Gary Kubiak said he has added snaps at the end of work each day, allowing Lynch and other young players to get additional work.

"He's doing good. He's making progress," Kubiak said.



There will be a corresponding move when they place Janovich on injured reserve, and that could mean they add another fullback. But if they choose to ride with their internal option, Juwan Thompson is ready, with Virgil Green and A.J. Derby also able to provide some snaps of work.

Thompson, a third-year veteran, worked at fullback throughout the offseason and is the only dual-position player among the running backs on the 53-man roster. Green has seen occasional snaps at fullback over the course of his six-season career.

"I have a lot of confidence, because Juwan is more versatile. He's a versatile guy," inside linebacker Brandon Marshall said. "He can play running back, fullback, he can run routes. He's more versatile than Andy; Andy was obviously the hammer, though."

Added Lynch: "We're definitely going to miss him, but there's other guys in the locker room that are ready to step up and play, too."

There are, but none has Janovich's exact skill set.

"He had progressed and was doing some good things, but that's the nature of the deal; sometimes you lose some guys when you were counting on them," Dennison said.



The Broncos trail the Chiefs by a full game and are tied with the Dolphins at 7-4. Both have tiebreaker advantages over the Broncos: Kansas City via head-to-head and Miami through a conference-record tiebreaker.

The Broncos have not entered Week 13 staring up at the six AFC teams in the postseason slots since 2011, when they stood at 6-5 and trailed the Oakland Raiders by one game in the division race and the Cincinnati Bengals by one game for the No. 6 seed.

Just four players remain from that team -- TE Virgil Green, CB Chris Harris Jr., OLB Von Miller wand WR Demaryius Thomas -- so this is unfamiliar territory.

"It is a must-win," said Marshall. "It's a tight race, and I think we fell behind a little bit with our loss Sunday, but we've still got everything in front of us. If we just do what we have to do, win our games, we'll be fine."


The Broncos began their on-field preparation for the Jaguars on Wednesday. (photos by Gabriel Christus, unless noted)


When Donald Stephenson relieved Ty Sambrailo in the second quarter last Sunday, the change was permanent -- but for that game only.

Kubiak wants to get Sambrailo some more work and keep the pressure on both, so he intends to play each of them in Jacksonville.

"I think they need to continue to compete on a daily basis. I think it's good for our team," Kubiak said. "I think it will be good for both of them in the long haul, so we'll continue down that same path -- who starts the game, who plays the most, we'll see."

Justin Houston had two sacks early working past Sambrailo before Stephenson entered the game.

"When [Stephenson] went in the game, he did some good things," Dennison said. "He had some flaws; we all did, coaches included."


The competitive juices are flowing in north Florida for former Broncos defensive end Malik Jackson, who told Denver-area reporters on a conference call that he wants to try and spoil the Broncos' season.

That's what his friend and former teammate, Marshall, expected to hear.

"I can't wait. That's my guy. I hope he does well -- but I still want us to win, of course," Marshall said.

"I know he can't wait to play against us. I know it."

Added Kubiak: "He's a hell of a player, a really good kid. I really liked Malik. I liked his energy for the game; he loved to play. He made a lot of big plays for us last year, and was a big part of what we did."

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