Broncos will face a backup quarterback as they attempt to snap 5-game losing streak
The Broncos won’t have to face a two-time Pro Bowl quarterback as they try to get just their second win since September.
Tuesday morning, an MRI revealed that Arizona QB Kyler Murray suffered a torn ACL on Monday night. The injury ends his season. It also puts his availability for the start of the 2023 campaign into question. But for the short term, it means that Colt McCoy will make his third start of the season next Sunday when the Cardinals face the Broncos.
Denver could play with a backup of its own. Starter Russell Wilson is in the league-mandated post-concussion protocol. If he can’t play, Brett Rypien would make his third career start — and his first against a team other than the New York Jets.
Rypien started the Broncos’ 16-9 loss to the Jets in Week 7. He completed 24-of-46 passes for 225 yards, no touchdowns and an interception.
Arizona is 3-2 in games started by McCoy since he joined the team in 2021. He also played most of Monday night’s loss to New England and finished with 246 yards, no touchdowns and an interception on 27-of-40 passing.
McCoy’s passer rating is not that far below Murray’s this season — 81.7 compared with Murray’s 87.2. But McCoy lacks Murray’s mobility, which reveals itself in sack rate. Opponents have sacked McCoy once every 11.1 pass plays, compared to Murray’s sack rate of once every 16.6 pass plays.
In 13 seasons, McCoy has 35 starts to his name. Most of them — 21 of 35 — came with the Cleveland Browns. McCoy was Cleveland’s primary starter in 2011 before evolving into a career backup. He has a career touchdown-to-interception ratio of 34-to-31 with an 80.4 passer rating.
With Los Angeles Rams starter Matthew Stafford on injured reserve, the Broncos will face two consecutive backup quarterbacks to close the 2022 calendar year.
The Rams are expected to start Baker Mayfield. He joined them as a waiver claim last week after Carolina let him go. With no full-speed practice work with the Rams, Mayfield led them 17-16 comeback win over the Las Vegas Raiders last Thursday night.