Denver Broncos need a legitimate backup quarterback

Denver Broncos, Brett Rypien (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos, Brett Rypien (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos neglected their backup quarterback position this offseason, and Sunday’s loss to the Jets was evidence of that.  One underrated and hardly talked about aspect of the team that I was worried about this offseason was the backup quarterback position.  General Manager George Paton neglected this area of the team, and Sunday’s loss was proof of that.

The team carried over Brett Rypien yet again and signed veteran journeyman Josh Johnson to compete for the job.  Rypien signed as an undrafted free agent in 2019 and had stuck around the team between the practice squad and active roster.  I’m not entirely sure what Rypien has done up until this point to warrant being a QB2 in the NFL, but I’d have to say it’s next to nothing.  He’s got very, very limited regular season experience on his resume and has been abysmal when on the field.

He was just that on Sunday, passing for 225 yards and an interception on a 52.2% completion percentage.  To me, Rypien is more suited to hold a QB3 spot on the roster.  Josh Johnson has done hardly better in the NFL, usually being signed off the street during emergency situations through the years.

Should the Denver Broncos pursue an upgrade at backup QB?

He never stuck with a team longer than three years, didn’t appear in any games from 2014-2017, and missed the 2019 and 2020 seasons playing in other football leagues.  Johnson has thrown 13 touchdown passes in his career on 16 interceptions.  Again, like Rypien, I’m not entirely sure what Johnson had done up until this point to be considered for a backup QB in the NFL.

He’s been in and out of the league and is pushing 40 years old.  Another reason why I now think that George Paton should have done more and should do more in the future at this position is because of Russell Wilson, who missed the game on Sunday with a hamstring injury.  Wilson has now missed four regular season games in his career, all coming within the last two seasons.

I’d hate to have to see it, but could Wilson’s body be giving up on him a bit?  Furthermore, if the Broncos do want to get back to contending for legitimate success, Paton will need to fill the roster with as much talent as possible.  Some of the best teams in the NFL also have a very good situation with their backup quarterback.

The Bills employ Case Keenum as a backup.  The Dolphins have Teddy Bridgewater as QB2.  The Eagles have Gardner Minshew behind Jalen Hurts.  The Patriots had Brian Hoyer behind Mac Jones.  The Giants have Tyrod Taylor behind Daniel Jones, and the Saints had Andy Dalton behind Jameis Winston.

Having a better-than-average backup QB is something that could come in handy for the Denver Broncos in the future.  Brett Rypien was awful on Sunday.  He was wildly inaccurate with his passes and looked flustered most of the game, especially in the second half.

The Denver Broncos need to employ a better situation with their backup QB for 2023 and beyond.