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Mark Sanchez will start the Denver Broncos’ preseason opener at Chicago on Thursday night after being listed as the co-starting quarterback on the team’s depth chart released Monday.
The plan is for Sanchez to play the first quarter, Trevor Siemian the second and rookie first-round pick Paxton Lynch the entire second half.
“The bottom line is one of them is going to play with those guys and one of them is not,” Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said of the first team offense. “I’m just going to play those starters a certain amount of reps, so whoever goes first will get with those guys.
“We’ll see where we are at next week. We’ve been practicing with all of them. A majority of this game is going to be about our twos and our threes. That’s not going to change anything.”
That includes Lynch seeing significant action in his first preseason game.
“It’s just where we are right now,” Kubiak said. “I think this is the game to look at all of those young players. The more I can play him, the more I can find out about him. If the game is rhythmic, like we hope, then hopefully he plays the whole half.
“We’ve been practicing that way, too. He practices a lot at the end of practice. We’ll keep that same rhythm.”
With the retirement of Peyton Manning and the free-agent defection of Brock Osweiler to the Houston Texans, the defending Super Bowl champions are committed to finding a starter out of the group of Sanchez (10 starts over the past three seasons), Siemian (took a knee in one game in 2015) and Lynch (26th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft).
Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison is looking forward to seeing each of the quarterbacks face their first live action of the preseason.
“It’s live. They don’t get to tackle us (in practice) fortunately,” Dennison said. “That’s a part of it. What you’re going to do with live rush and how you adjust to that. Games are just fast. We practice as fast as we can, but certainly it is a lot faster out there.”
NOTES: Kubiak said outside linebackers Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, left tackle Russell Okung and cornerback Aqib Talib will not play Thursday.