Health just isn’t on the Denver Broncos’ side lately, it seems. After seeing starting quarterback Trevor Siemian sidelined in Week 5 with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder, the short week will now result in another big name not being able to be with the team. This time, though, it’s Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak who will miss the team’s Week 6 matchup with the San Diego Chargers on a short week, according to NFL.com.
President and general manager John Elway spoke about Kubiak, who suffered a scare and was taken to the hospital after Sunday’s 23-16 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
“We’re excited about Gary’s future and I think what we heard last night is good, but I’m going to let Gary handle (speaking about his medical issue) when he comes back,” Elway said.
As NFL.com reported, Kubiak is dealing with what’s being called a “complex migraine condition.” While he won’t be on the sidelines in Week 6, it will be special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis who will step in as the interim head coach. This also means that offensive coordinator Rick Dennison will take on full-time play-calling duties. DeCamillis has held a special teams coach or coordinator role since entering the league in 1988.
On the quarterback front for the Broncos, Ian Rapoport reported that Siemian would be back under center this weekend
“My understanding is Trevor Siemian is expected to be the starter for the Broncos on Thursday night,” Rapoport said. “That really was the plan going into Sunday. Have Paxton Lynch, the first-round quarterback, start, give Trevor Siemian a couple extra days to heal for the Chargers on Thursday night, and then let Siemian go back out there — deal with some pain, yes — and of course he does have that separated non-throwing shoulder, which can be painful, but not debilitating as it comes to being able to throw. Plus, it will also give Siemian a full week to prepare for the Chargers whereas Paxton Lynch, the first-rounder, would have had just a truncated week of preparation. So it seems, unless something changes over the next couple days, that it will be Siemian back in as the starter for Denver.”
The question becomes, after losing to the Falcons on their home field, how will they fare without their coach against an angry Chargers team, who just lost 34-31 to the Oakland Raiders in one of the worst ways possible. After Philip Rivers drove the Chargers down the field for a short field goal to tie things up, punter/holder Drew Kaser couldn’t hold the snap, and the Josh Lambo couldn’t even get the field goal up.
So while the Chargers are just 1-4 on the season, it’s worth noting that their losses have come by six, four, one and three points. That has to be the closest imaginable to being 5-0 instead of 1-4. No, the Chargers aren’t a Super Bowl team this season, but it’s widely apparent through their first five games that they’re a solid team. To go along with that, the frustration from the Week 5 loss may propel them on Thursday Night Football.
Let’s also not forget that while the Broncos have had a stellar defense this season, Philip Rivers has completed 68 percent of his passes for 1,469 yards, 11 touchdowns and just three interceptions on the year. The Broncos are going to have their hands full on Thursday, and not having their leader running the show, as well as having a quarterback at less than 100 percent won’t make life any easier.