Simms starts at QB, but Orton returns for Broncos despite injury

Denver Broncos quarterback Chris Simms started an NFL game for the first time since he was nearly killed while playing three years ago, but his appearance against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday didn't last long.

Simms was pulled during the second quarter in favor of the hobbled Kyle Orton, whose sprained ankle kept him out of practice all week and out of the starting lineup. Orton took the field after the Broncos had just three drives under Simms, two of which ended in punts and one of which was halted by the quarterback's fumble.

Orton looked comfortable in the pocket, completing his first three pass attempts for 58 yards.

Orton was in uniform and not among the players who were inactive for the game, making him Denver's No. 2 quarterback. He appeared to throw a few passes at Invesco Field during the morning, but after several minutes, he went back into the locker room.

Simms' last start came on Sept. 24, 2006, when he played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was battered so badly by the Carolina Panthers that he needed emergency surgery to remove his spleen.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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