What to watch in Broncos preseason finale: Who will win backup QB job?
The Denver Broncos will host the Minnesota Vikings in the preseason finale for both teams.
Shortly after that game, the Broncos, along with the rest of the teams in the NFL, will have to trim their rosters down to just 53 players. That will put some players in crucial spots against the Vikings, essentially playing for their careers or at the very least, their spot on the Broncos’ roster.
At the forefront of that discussion is the battle for the team’s backup quarterback spot.
The Broncos have held a competition all summer long at that spot between Josh Johnson and Brett Rypien. Fans have yet to see Russell Wilson play in a Broncos uniform, as Nathaniel Hackett has chosen to rest most of his starters during the preseason.
The journeys for Johnson and Rypien could not be much different.
Johnson has played for 17 different professional teams in four different leagues. Rypien has been with the Broncos since going undrafted out of Boise State in 2019. He has made one career start for the Broncos and his biggest claim to fame is that his uncle was once MVP of the Super Bowl.
The quarterbacks are separated by 10 years in age but the competition for the No. 2 job behind Wilson is much closer than that.
It was thought early on that Johnson would likely win the job as his experience would be a bigger help to Wilson in terms of game preparation. Johnson also looked good in the team’s first preseason game, but Rypien’s second-half performance last week against the Buffalo Bills shortened the gap.
Through two preseason games, here are the statistics for the two quarterbacks:
Josh Johnson: 24-39 (61.5 percent), 242 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
Brett Rypien: 30-44 (68.1 percent), 304 yards, 1 TD, O INTs
Both players have posted respectable stats. Johnson has done it against better competition, but it will be Rypien who gets the start against the Vikings. That will be a great opportunity for him to come out and take the job by the horns.
It could definitely go either way and will be one of the tough decisions facing Hackett and his coaching staff following this game. Which one of these quarterbacks will get the nod?