John Elway Says Broncos Could Look for New Backup QB Behind Case Keenum

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John Elway Says Broncos Could Look for New Backup QB Behind Case Keenum
John Elway, President of Football Operations/General Manager of the Denver Broncos before the start of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

Chad Kelly moved up to the No. 2 spot on the Denver Broncos‘ depth chart at quarterback, but that doesn’t mean he’ll have the job for long.

Broncos president John Elway said the team could look to add a veteran presence behind Case Keenum before Week 1.

“I’m not going to tell you we’re definitely going to stand pat, but I’m not telling you we’re going (in) that direction, either,” Elway told 103.5 The Fox (h/t Associated Press).

Kelly threw for 177 yards and two touchdowns in Denver’s preseason opener against the Minnesota Vikings. The performance was strong enough for him to unseat 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch as the backup behind Keenum, who the Broncos signed this offseason to be their starter.

Kelly was the 2017 Mr. Irrelevant after starring at Ole Miss. He did not take a snap during the 2017 season despite the Broncos having massive issues at quarterback. Elway said concern about whether the backup could take over as a starter if Keenum were injured will play into his decision-making. 

“We’ve got to have confidence that that guy that’s going to be the backup can play and win football games,” Elway said. “And so that’s why we’re still in that process of trying to see if we’ve got that guy behind Case.

“Even though Chad played very well on Saturday night—we’ll see how he does this week—but if something were to happen to Case, can he come in and continue to win football games for us?” Elway said. “That’s the big part of the evaluation process and that’s still going on.”

Quality quarterback free agents are tough to come by, so it’s hard to see Elway finding a veteran with much upside. Former Broncos quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was cut in 2016 before ever playing a game for the team, remains a free agent and seems like a fit if Elway wants to go in another direction.

Longtime backup Derek Anderson is also among the players available. 

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