Brett Rypien will make first NFL start in prime time on a short week
Brett Rypien is going to be asked to lead the Broncos to victory in prime time on a short week.
The Denver Broncos need to dig themselves out of an 0-3 hole. They have a road game against the hapless New York Jets on Thursday to get on the board in the win column, and they are asking Brett Rypien to lead the way.
Multiple reports indicate that Rypien, a 2019 undrafted free agent out of Boise State who has spent the majority of his first two NFL seasons on the Denver Broncos’ practice squad, will start for the team against Sam Darnold and the Jets.
Rypien got his first action of the 2020 season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when he came in relief of Jeff Driskel, who played extremely poorly against the Bucs. Rypien actually looked decent on his only drive until he got strip-sacked from behind and then threw an interception in the end zone.
Rypien was a pre-draft favorite of many in the NFL Draft community, including yours truly. I thought highly of Rypien coming out of Boise State with his tremendous accuracy, timing, and velocity on short-intermediate throws in tight windows.
There are reasons for Rypien being on an NFL practice squad for the majority of his first two NFL seasons, but the Jets aren’t going to have much worthwhile film to study of Rypien running Pat Shurmur’s offense at all, which could be to the Broncos’ advantage.
The Broncos desperately need a victory in this game against the Jets, and they are asking a lot of Rypien to get the job done.
Not only is he making his first career NFL start, he’s doing so:
- On the road
- On Prime Time television
- On a short week
- Without Courtland Sutton
You want an opportunity, you got it.
Rypien can play, make no mistake about it. The Jets and Broncos are equally desperate, so I don’t think the Jets have that to their advantage.
This opportunity for Rypien is not only a chance to prove he can hold the fort while Drew Lock recovers from his shoulder injury, but also potentially a chance to prove that he should be the long-term backup option.
Rypien could also benefit from a change at the right tackle position. The Broncos are placing Elijah Wilkinson on IR for the time being with a shin injury, and Demar Dotson figures to step in at right tackle in his place.
Dotson has been a much better pass protector in his long NFL career than Wilkinson has been in a short time with the Broncos, allowing far too many sacks to expect any sort of consistent success offensively.
With Dotson in the lineup and quite possibly a much more pocket savvy Rypien at quarterback, might the Broncos find some success against a Jets defense that is allowing over 31 points per game so far in 2020?
We’re fixing to find out.