Thursday’s final preseason game is going to be the Kyle Sloter Show (and those of you who have been paying attention know how excited I am about this).
The undrafted quarterback out of University of Northern Colorado will now be the lead signal caller against the Cardinals after news broke Monday that backup QB Paxton Lynch will be sidelined several weeks into the regular season with a shoulder sprain suffered against Green Bay.
“It’s a great opportunity to get out there, get reps, try to get more comfortable within the offense and try to see things more clearly from a full speed perspective,” Sloter said Monday after practice. “I’m just going to go out there and give my best and try to put my team in a position to win.”
But guess who’s on deck as a backup QB?
Yep, Jordan Taylor.
The wide receiver who just played himself onto the roster last week? The same one who was instrumental in helping Peyton Manning mount his comeback and get ready to lead the team to a Super Bowl victory? The one who is known as much for his golden locks as his reliable hands?
Yes. One and the same.
And that means it could also be the Sunshine Show on Thursday.
Sloter + Sunshine...Is this my Fantasy Football team? ☀️ https://t.co/7HoNX2Cg7r— L.Lattimore-Volkmann (@docllv) August 28, 2017
Since it’s customary to sit the starters, Trevor Siemian will primarily be on headset duty.
But with two backup quarterbacks currently nursing injuries – Lynch with his shoulder sprain and fourth-stringer Chad Kelly still rehabbing a wrist – Thursday’s signal calling naturally falls to Sloter, who has been proving his worth to this team every single game so far.
And that also means the Broncos find themselves one quarterback short in case anything goes awry.
“This week, we’re going to give Kyle the start. If Kyle is tying his shoe, we’ll put Trevor in and run the football,” said coach Vance Joseph. “We have a third guy who can play that position for us on Thursday night.”
Joseph joked he might be the third backup if it came down to it. But alas, the coach is going to stick to the sidelines.
“Who’s that guy? Me,” Joseph said, laughing. “But, it’s Jordan Taylor. He’s going to take some snaps for us in case we want him to play quarterback for us. But, we won’t add a guy this week.”
Joseph has said the Broncos will keep just two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, relegating Sloter to the practice squad if he clears waivers.
Given Lynch’s recovery prognosis of several weeks, the team is exploring options with veteran backup QBs.
Although Sloter has been dismissed as an option by many in the media and even by Joseph in his pressers, the rookie believes he has improved and he’s looking forward to proving that yet again this week.
“I think I’m seeing everything a little bit more clearly. I think the game is slowing down a little bit for me,” he said. “I made some mistakes in the last game and I wasn’t perfect by any means, but for the most part everything I was seeing was slower. That was important. I didn’t quite have the reps [in practice] to get on the same page probably with my teammates last week. It’s a good opportunity to go out there and continue to get better this next week.”
"I definitely can throw it a little." - ☀️ Taylor— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) August 29, 2017
He's got high school highlights to prove it, too.https://t.co/VLPEnlBJMY
As for Sunshine, if he’s called up for quarterback duty, he intends to have a little fun with it.
“It’s an opportunity to go out there and do something different for sure. It’s been a long time since I played quarterback so we’ll see how it goes,” Taylor said, adding he hasn’t been QB since 2010 for his high school team. “I played quarterback for three years so I had a lot of good plays and a lot of bad plays too. Hopefully we have nothing but good plays out of me on Thursday.”
Taylor ran a spread offense in high school, mostly coming out of the shotgun. He assumes if he’s called in, the play calls will include a lot of “running the ball and handing it off.”
But the wide receiver is not averse to throwing the deep ball or running it himself.
“To be honest, I have no idea. I’m going to dial up whatever they dial up, so we’ll see how it goes,” he said. “It would be nice to throw a deep ball, and we might. I might get in there and check a go-ball. ...We’ll see.”
Whatever he does, Sunshine will be very attuned to his receivers’ needs. And if they come to the huddle yelling they were wide open, Taylor already has an answer.
“I’ll tell them I know the feeling. It’ll be good.”
I’m pulling for Sloter to have the game of his life, and I don’t want Taylor to “be needed” as our QB - but I admit, I wouldn’t mind seeing Sunshine dial up just a few plays too.
Is it smart to make Jordan Taylor the listed backup on Thursday?
This poll is closed
Sure! You can never have enough Sunshine on the field
And risk injury to a needed wide receiver? No way.
It doesn’t matter because Sloter is going to light it up the whole game!