Osweiler to start Monday; Manning set to be inactive

Brock Osweiler will remain the Broncos starting quarterback for Denver's biggest game of the 2015 season.

The team announced Wednesday that coach Gary Kubiak informed the entire squad that Osweiler will start and Peyton Manning is not expected to be active for Monday night's game against the Bengals. Manning will focus on rehabbing his torn plantar fascia in his foot, and is not expected to be on the field for practice on Wednesday.

The decision came about after Kubiak and Manning discussed his status earlier this week. Osweiler has been up and down, as we'd expect from a first-time starter. But Denver's offense has looked better than it did under Manning, and it certainly looked more like Kubiak's traditional offense.

It's hard to imagine that Manning starts for this Broncos team again, although Kubiak has insisted on treating the quarterback situation on a week-to-week basis. Monday's tilt against the Bengals feels like a playoff game. Denver can earn a playoff bye by winning their next two games, with a relatively easy-looking home game against San Diego on tap for Week 17. But Denver could wind up not even winning the AFC West or possibly even sliding right out of the playoffs if they can't beat Cincinnati on Monday night.

The Broncos can't use the quarterback position as an excuse. Osweiler has more experience than Bengals starter AJ McCarron. And it looks like Osweiler will continue to learn what it's like to play big games for the rest of the season for Denver, possibly right into the playoffs. This looks like Osweiler's team, for good or bad.

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