Things are dire at quarterback for the Broncos. Oh, you probably already know this, seeing as how we wrote about it just yesterday. But for as disastrous as “Kyle Orton, starting quarterback with two healthy backups” sounds, the situation’s devolving into something far worse.
The problem with Orton is that he might not actually be healthy for Week 1. Oh, and the clear #2, Chris Simms, is also hurt for at least a month with a high ankle sprain. So now the starting quarterback for the Broncos is a late-round rookie. Check that; aside from a warm body they signed as an emergency rookie, he’s the only healthy quarterback.
Per the DENVER POST, Orton’s injury might be a lot worse than “finger split open”:
Orton suffered a serious injury to the index finger of his right (throwing) hand Sunday during the Broncos’ preseason game against Chicago and is in danger of missing the season opener Sept. 13 at Cincinnati. Simms has been out since suffering a severe left ankle sprain Aug. 22 at Seattle.
Two NFL sources said the finger was not fractured but that Orton suffered an open dislocation (penetration of skin) of the right knuckle. That would explain the blood dripping from Orton’s finger and the excruciating pain the quarterback endured as the dislocated finger was popped back into place by Broncos trainer Steve Antonopulos.
OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW. Just reading that makes our hands hurt.
So assuming Orton’s throwing motion is sufficiently affected that he’s a no-go, the man in charge is going to be someone named Tom Brandstater. You’ve probably never heard of him, and that’s okay.
Brandstater, a sixth-round pick, has struggled thus far against preseason competition. His backup, Ingle Martin, was only signed when Simms was hurt and is best known for transferring from Florida once Chris Leak showed up. The Post generously describes Martin as a “journeyman”; “waiver wire fodder” is probably more accurate.
We’ve stated such before - multiple times, even - but we’ll just point out once again that Denver had their quarterback situation shored up a few months ago with Jay Cutler. Then their new coach Josh McDaniel went sniffing around for Matt Cassel for no apparent reason, feelings got hurt, all hell broke loose, and the Broncos happily accepted two 1st round draft picks in exchange for their only chance to break .500 for the next 2-3 years.
So adjust expectations accordingly, Broncos fans. Instead of probably losing your season opener against Arizona and going about 4-12, you’re now definitely losing your season opener against Arizona and going about 4-12. As for Sam Bradford or Colt McCoy, it’s time you guys started looking at yourselves in Bronco uniforms, then strapping in for dear life; it’s going to be a bumpy road in Denver.