Kubiak: ‘No timeline’ to name starting quarterback for playoffs

Denver Broncos
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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said Monday there is “no timeline” to name a starting quarterback for the team’s first playoff game on Jan. 17.

Peyton Manning, who had not played since Nov. 15, replaced Brock Osweiler in the third quarter of Sunday’s 27-20 win over the the San Diego Chargers that wrapped up the AFC West title and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

Osweiler threw for 232 yards and a touchdown to Demaryius Thomas on the second play of the game, but the Broncos committed five turnovers and were trailing, 13-7, when Manning entered the game.

Manning led the Broncos on four scoring drives, completing 5 of 9 passes for 69 yards.

“I won’t say anything. … I’m proud of our football team,” Kubiak said. I’ve got a lot of things I need to do as a coach. I’m still up there trying to evaluate a lot of things. … I have no timeline.”

Despite being pulled from the game, Kubiak said of Osweiler: “I guarantee you he knows I’ve got confidence in him and he knows his team has confidence in him. He’s a tough young man.”

On Sunday after the game, Kubiak said: “I don’t think Brock did anything wrong. I know we had the turnovers, but a couple of them he had nothing to do with. But just my gut told me to turn it over to (Manning) and let him lead the football team. I’m just very proud of him. He’s worked really hard to stay there for us and it couldn’t be a bigger day to be there for us.”

Manning has been recovering from a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot.

Kubiak added Monday that three players — safety Darian Stewart (hamstring), cornerback Chris Harris Jr. (shoulder) and linebacker DeMarcus Ware (knee) — were getting MRIs.

The win earned the Broncos a first-round bye in the playoffs. They will play the Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans or Kansas City Chiefs at 2:40 p.m. on Jan. 17.

It’s the third time in four years the Broncos have eared the No. 1 spot in the AFC. If they win on Jan. 17, they would play host to the AFC Championship Game at 1 p.m. on Jan. 24. The winner will represent the AFC in Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif.

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