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Vance Joseph: Paxton Lynch still isn't physically ready

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The Denver Broncos sticking with Brock Osweiler under center leaves one big question floating in the thin Mile High air: What's the deal with Paxton Lynch?

The former first-round pick suffered a shoulder injury in the third game of the preseason and finally began practicing again last week. Lynch struggled in brief stints last season, but he would bring a needed mobility behind a porous offensive line. Frankly, he can't be much worse than what Broncos fans have watched from their quarterbacks the past few weeks, right?

Coach Vance Joseph suggested Monday that Lynch is behind both physically and mentally due to the preseason injury.

"What I meant by that is physically he's been hurt," Joseph clarified Monday, via the Denver Post. "He played his last football game in Week 3 of the preseason and he threw for four days prior to our last game. That's the physical part. The mental part, I was speaking more to that he hasn't played football. He hasn't been on the football field. ... Not his lack of football IQ. I wasn't talking about that. I was more talking about time on the job. He's missed so much time, so to put him in an NFL game Week 10 wouldn't be fair to our football team or fair to Paxton. That's what I meant."

Presumably, Lynch was still in the playbook while rehabbing. Unless the young quarterback is struggling to grasp the nuances of the offense, the delay in bringing him in should be more due to getting him physically up to speed.

Lynch said as much to the Denver Post on Monday.

"You have to get geared back up because you've been away for so long -- not really mentally, but more physically," he said. "Especially with your conditioning and stuff, that's a little different."

Trevor Siemian was benched in favor of Osweiler after tossing four interceptions in his last two starts. Brock did only slightly better, tossing two picks in Sunday's blowout loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

While Joseph cited Lynch needing to get physically and mentally ready to play, it's also possible the coach didn't want to put his young quarterback under the primetime lights against the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots this week.

Given the play Osweiler has put on tape the past two years, we don't expect him to hold off Lynch much longer. The Broncos, at the very least, need to find out how much growth the first-round pick has undergone in the past 12 months.

The 23-year-old said he's getting close to being ready to go.

"Close. I feel like right now if I was needed to play, obviously I'm going to help the team however I can," Lynch told the Post. "But that's up to the training staff to decide. ... I think they've done a good job with me so far in the training room and my reps and what not. I know they wanted to ease me into it, so it's what they're doing."

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