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Trevor Siemian of Denver Broncos to start first preseason game

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver Broncos coach Vance Joseph is not yet ready to declare a winner in the team’s quarterback competition, but he did outline who will start the Broncos’ first two preseason games.

Joseph said after Monday’s practice Trevor Siemian will start the preseason opener Thursday night in Chicago and Paxton Lynch would then get the start Aug. 19, against the 49ers in San Francisco.

Joseph said Siemian had “earned that much,” when it came to getting the first start of the preseason. Joseph was asked if that meant Siemian had a lead in the competition to be the opening night starter, Sept. 11 against the San Diego Chargers, and he said:

“It’s an open competition, the games matter, the games start Thursday. I want to get to the games so we can get to the bottom of this.”

Joseph said both Siemian and Lynch would work with at least some of the other starters on offense in each of the two games. Previously Joseph has said he will take as long as it takes to make the decision at quarterback, but he has also described having a starter named for the regular season by the Aug. 26 game against the Green Bay Packers as “ideal.”

The Broncos also have two days’ worth of joint practices with the 49ers leading up to the Aug. 19 preseason game and Joseph has said those practices will factor into the decision about who the starter will be.

Over the course of the last eight days of training camp, Siemian has likely carved out a lead in the competition with far few turnovers in team drills than Lynch and more consistent work in terms of finding second- and third-options in team drills.

Both quarterbacks said after a scrimmage in Saturday’s practice that they have tried to leave the talk of the competition for the starting job to others while they go about their football business.

“I think it’s just progressing and getting better day in and day out,” Lynch said. “I think that it’s important not to get caught up in the competition and trying to be better than this guy in this drill and better than this guy in that drill. I think it’s just about progressing day-in and day-out and making yourself a better football player and making the guys around you better.”

“I really don’t think about it too much to be honest with you,” Siemian said. “I try to do my job, be a good teammate when I’m in there, get the group running well, move the ball and whatever happens, happens.”

In last season’s preseason opener — also in Chicago — Siemian was the second quarterback into the game, behind Mark Sanchez, and Lynch was the third quarterback into the game. In last August’s matchup with the Bears Siemian was 7-of-12 passing for 88 yards while Lynch was 6-of-7 passing for 74 yards with three sacks.

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