Broncos must decide where Paxton Lynch fits on QB depth chart

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Denver Broncos went into Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Arizona Cardinals with a list of roster questions they hope to answer correctly in the coming days. And one of the biggest questions is whether or not they believe prized rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch has advanced far enough on the learning curve to be the team’s No. 2 quarterback behind Trevor Siemian.

And as a highlight, he picked his opening touchdown pass of the preseason — an 8-yarder to tight end John Phillips in the loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

“Scored a touchdown, my first NFL touchdown, that was a pretty special moment,” Lynch said.

Lynch consistently said throughout the offseason program, into training camp and almost right until the time Kubiak named Siemian the starter, that he believed he had kept himself in the mix to be the starter. And Thursday night he said he’s “excited” for the regular season and believes he will be ready for whatever the Broncos have in store for him in the weeks and months to come.

“A dude that wants to just bond,” Haden said Wednesday. “He wants to have a friendship, he wants to have a bond between all of his teammates. Like me, wants to be liked.

“Doesn’t feel like there’s [any] reason to have anybody walking around and not talking to everybody. That’s really special. I think that’s why the team picked him as a captain.”

Griffin said he was “extremely happy” to be chosen.

“Not satisfied, but happy with where I’m at, the opportunity that’s been blessed upon me and being here with these guys, it’s really a blessing,” Griffin said. “I can’t speak enough about how this [locker room] has been awesome.

“I’ve been able to grow as a player and as a leader in this locker room.”

Browns coach Hue Jackson said that he didn’t expect the results of the vote.

“I’ll be very honest with you: I was surprised,” the first-year coach said. “Because obviously Robert hasn’t been here very long, and we haven’t played a real football game yet. For him to be voted captain, he should feel good about that. His teammates feel good about him.

“The testament of Robert being named captain is that it came from his teammates. They voted on it. Coaches had nothing to do with this; this was all his teammates. So obviously he’s embedded within the organization and his team, his teammates. I think he’s shown them he’s somebody they can depend on and look to.”

Sore Trevor Siemian expected to be ready to start Saturday

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Trevor Siemian, who has the inside track on the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback job, did not throw in Tuesday’s practice due to what coach Gary Kubiak described as a bruised right (throwing) shoulder.

“He played well; he made a mistake,” offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said.

It’s why Kubiak named Siemian the starter for this weekend’s game and why Siemian now has a chance, with a quality effort against the Rams, to keep the job for the regular-season opener against the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 8.

Kubiak is evaluating Siemian’s progress throughout the week, as well as the performances of Mark Sanchez and rookie Paxton Lynch, before deciding who will be the second quarterback into the game if Siemian starts as scheduled.

Asked Tuesday when he might decide that, Kubiak offered: “Probably the end of the week. I expect Trevor to be ready to go. We’ll see.”

“They would do me like that? Oh my God,” a smiling Bryant told The Dallas Morning News after Friday’s preseason game. “That is an insult, like why would you do that to me? How much I love y’all. Like, what? Not John Madden, because I love him. It’s the developers.”

Bryant takes his video games seriously. He’s also considered among the game’s best receivers, but he was rated as the No. 8 receiver in the game. Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Odell Beckham Jr., DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald and Alshon Jeffery are each rated higher than Bryant.

The folks who runs the game’s Twitter account decided to have some fun with Bryant after his comments, poking fun at the reason he was only rated as a 90.

We’re just going to see what happens,” Bryant said on Friday. “Like I told Madden, they put me at 90, I’m not worried about that. That rating going to shoot up real quick, you best believe that.”

When asked if Siemian is still expected to start Saturday’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams, Kubiak said: “Oh yeah. I expect him to be there.”

Siemian was injured in the second quarter of last weekend’s game against the San Francisco 49ers when he attempted a diving tackle during safety Eric Reid’s 42-yard interception return for a touchdown. Kubiak said Siemian was just being competitive on the play, but joked Tuesday that the QB is just “not used to tackling.”