Peyton Manning came in and relieved Brock Osweiler during the Broncos' regular season finale Sunday, leading Denver to a comeback win. The Broncos didn't win off Manning's arm; Peyton didn't even throw a pass in Denver's 4th quarter, game-winning drive. But the act of benching Osweiler (who wasn't struggling) for Manning was an act that shook throughout the Rocky Mountain region.
After the game, Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak was non-committal regarding who would be his starting quarterback for Denver's Divisional Round playoff game on January 17th. That remained his approach when he met with the media Monday morning.
"I have nothing for you today," Kubiak said. "I have no timeline. I'm focused right now on how we're going to approach the next week especially as we await our next opponent."
Kubiak then said he didn't "have any concern" about not naming a starting QB and any potential cloud or distraction that could cause.
Let's infer a timeline
Since Gary Kubiak won't give a timeline for naming a QB, we will give our best educated guess to when the announcement will come. On Thursday, Broncos players will report for practice; they are off until then. It makes sense, then, that the Broncos will make a decision about their starting QB ahead of Thursday's practice and announce it then, as we all know from Manning himself how valuable those practice reps are for the starting quarterback.
It wouldn't make sense to split those reps between Osweiler and Manning in the interest of keeping the starting quarterback a secret for their to-be-determined opponent; it makes more sense to put all the team's focus behind one guy. That's the way Kubiak has approached practice ever since Manning went down to injury over seven weeks ago.
That being said, we didn't see the change at quarterback to Manning mid-game coming at all. Who knows how many surprises Gary Kubiak has in store for Broncos Country down the postseason stretch?