The Denver Broncos are proceeding as if Trevor Siemian won’t miss Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons because of the sprained shoulder he suffered against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday.
But they can do so with confidence after an impressive rookie debut by Paxton Lynch, who quarterbacked most of the Broncos’ 27-7 victory after Siemian exited the field on a cart.
‘Going to be a day-to-day thing’
“It’s going to be a day-to-day thing,” coach Gary Kubiak told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan on Movin’ The Chains. “He’s very sore (Monday) and, obviously, it’s not going to affect his ability to throw the ball. But what happens, all the mechanics of your body and the movement, the torque, that’s what he’s going to have to work through.
“So we’ll take it day-by-day and keep repping them all like we always do, but hopefully Trevor will be able to answer the bell this Sunday. He’s very capable of playing without practice time. He’s a very bright young man, so we’ll just take it day-to-day.”
‘Been practicing well, preparing well’
Kubiak couldn’t help but be impressed with Lynch, who showed excellent poise in completing 14 of 24 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown. He had a passer rating of 94.1.
“He really did a good job,” Kubiak said. “He’s been practicing well, preparing well, taking care of his classroom work. The thing that’s been impressive, he goes against our defense every day, and it’s a good group to work against throwing the ball. He’s made progress and then, all of a sudden, he gets caught in a situation (Sunday) where it’s time for him to go out there and contribute to the team.
“And I thought he did a good job. He made some great throws, he got out of some bad situations, he protected the football for two-and-a-half quarters for his football team, and that’s the difference in winning and losing, so it was a step in the right direction for him.”
Hughes: Bills didn’t know which Patriots QB they would face
The Buffalo Bills had no clue about which quarterback they would face before Sunday’s 16-0 victory against the New England Patriots.
Coach Rex Ryan had told reporters he knew who would be replacing suspended Tom Brady, but wasn’t going to say so publicly.
‘It was very difficult for us’
However, outside linebacker Jerry Hughes told Brady Quinn and Kirk Morrison on the SiriusXM Blitz that the Bills were preparing for both Jimmy Garoppolo, who wound up missing the game with a sore shoulder, and rookie Jacoby Brissett, who wound up starting despite dealing with a sore thumb.
“It was very difficult for us, because we really didn’t know what quarterback you were kind of going to see on Sunday,” Hughes said. “So it was just great for all the guys to show up on that Monday (after the Bills’ victory against Arizona), scout-team guys came in and we just put forth and had a great week of practice. We prepared just like any other week. It wasn’t anything where we needed to get up too high or anything like that. We just wanted to kind of ride the momentum of that Arizona win and just prepare hard and just work well and it played out for us.”
‘Phenomenal’ to have both Ryans coaching
Helping the process, Hughes said, was the exceptional work of the coaches — especially Rex Ryan and his twin brother, Rob, the Bills’ assistant head coach/defense.
“Oh, man, it’s phenomenal, just to have them both on the same side of the ball, in the same room — just how they’re able to kind of break down things for us in our defensive room, to kind of get it to where everybody’s able to understand it and be on the same page,” Hughes said. “And at the same time, making sure that we’re actually still having fun and enjoying the game of football. So when you put those two elements together, where they’re still teaching us and we’re having fun while learning and just growing together and building that chemistry and that comradery as a team, it’s fantastic.”
‘Huge’ to have Dareus returning
After back-to-back strong defensive showings and three in their four games so far, the Bills’ defense should get even better with the return of standout tackle Marcell Dareus from a suspension.
“Oh, man, it’s huge just for him to kind of be back there in that middle, run-stuffing, two-gaping, doing what he does, commanding the double team,” Hughes said. “So when you have somebody like that on your team coming back, it’s just excitement just because you know how he plays on the field. You know what he brings in the game and how he has to command a double team.”
Cole Beasley: Cowboys ‘did a great job of fighting back’
The Dallas Cowboys’ 3-1 record has been a testament to resilience, as well to the dynamic performances of a pair of rookies — quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott.
All three elements were in play during Sunday’s 24-17 victory against the San Francisco 49ers. The Cowboys won despite being without injured wide receiver Dez Bryant and despite falling into a two-touchdown hole.
‘Coach Garrett does a good job of instilling fight in us’
“It was a great win,” Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley told Brady Quinn and Kirk Morrison on the SiriusXM Blitz. “We got down early, 14-0, but Coach (Jason) Garrett does a good job of instilling fight in us, so the team did a great job of just fighting back and playing through it. It was a little different for me. They did a lot of good things to kind of clog up the middle and it made it tough on me. Guys like (fellow wide receivers) Terrance Williams and Brice Butler and (tight end Jason) Witten, they all stepped up and did their part and played very well. And Zeke and Dak and, really, all 11 on offense had a heck of a game.”
The Cowboys are driven by wanting to avoid last year’s struggles after losing quarterback Tony Romo to injury, just as they did during the preseason this year.
‘When Tony went down, nobody blinked’
“When we had some things happen early in the year when Tony went down, nobody blinked,” Beasley said. “We just kept moving forward and we weren’t going to let that hurt us like it did last year. The whole football team has done a great job of just fighting, no matter what, no matter who’s in there. We always come with that attitude it doesn’t matter. We’re still going to play to win as a team. And if every guy does their job individually, we’ll be good collectively. We’ve done a great job of that this year.”
Beasley, who caught three passes for 66 yards against the 49ers, has been particularly impressed with Elliott.
“He runs hard, man, and he brings juice to the team,” the receiver said. “As far as the receivers blocking downfield, I mean we know he’s a guy who can break it at any time. So we’ve just got to do our part and block, and we’ll be the difference in springing him for the 40-yard gains. He’s going to do all the dirty runs and get four and five and three and two, but when he springs those 20-yarders, we’ve got to be the ones that make it go from 20 to 40. And we know it can happen at any time with him. And he brings a lot of energy and brings a lot of fun to the team and a lot of juice.”