Gary Kubiak wants to see where Peyton Manning’s rehab stands before naming starter

By Jesse Reed

During Gary Kubiak’s press conference Monday he dropped a bomb when he said he hasn’t yet named a starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos in Week 15, leaving the door open for Peyton Manning to come back.

The head coach said he needs to speak with Manning first and see how the veteran’s rehab is going before making any decision about whether Manning or Brock Osweiler will start on the road Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

This statement pretty much flies in the face of a rumor (Jason Cole of Bleacher Report) that came out Monday that the Broncos prefer Osweiler over Manning.

Osweiler wasn’t exactly brilliant Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, failing to throw a touchdown pass, but he also didn’t get much help. Demaryius Thomas dropped multiple passes and tight end Vernon Davis dropped an easy pass with nobody close to him late in the game on a drive that could have potentially been a game-winner.

In the three games prior to Denver’s 15-12 loss to Oakland, Osweiler showed flashes of competence but also made some foolish mistakes.

When Manning played earlier in the season he was not sharp at all and led the league with 17 interceptions — still the highest total in the league. It’s hard to know when he got hurt originally, but there were only a few games out of his nine starts that the future Hall of Famer looked like he belonged on the field.

That said, with the playoffs looming, Kubiak may feel inclined to let the veteran take over for the inexperienced Osweiler. After all, Denver’s roster was hand-crafted by John Elway to complement Manning for one final run at glory, and his vast experience in pressure situations is invaluable, even if his body isn’t what it once was.