Trevor Siemian, who has never lost an NFL start, had it working again Sunday in the Broncos’ matchup with Tampa Bay.
With 3:25 remaining in the second quarter, the Broncos led 7-0, in large part due to Siemian completing five of his first seven passes for 68 yards and an 11-yard touchdown to Demariyus Thomas. But then, disaster struck for the second-year pro:
Well, probably not disaster. The play admittedly looks rough at first glance; it was the third time Siemian had been sacked on the afternoon, and he was immediately replaced by Paxton Lynch after being whipped to the ground by Tampa Bay defensive tackle Clinton McDonald.
Siemian was caught on camera minutes later being carted off the field just inside the two-minute warning. He would cede way to Lynch for the remainder of the afternoon and Lynch didn’t disappoint: he completed 14 of 24 passes for 170 yards and a score with no turnovers. In addition, Denver went on to win the game 27-7, their fourth consecutive victory to open the season.
But let’s not all hop on the Paxton Lynch bandwagon just yet. While being carted off the field mid-game is rarely cause for optimism, reports that have surfaced in the hours since have painted a more encouraging picture:
Preliminary diagnosis for #Broncos QB Trevor Siemian is an AC joint sprain on his non-throwing shoulder, source said. More tests tomorrow— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 3, 2016
The two big takeaway here: ‘AC joint sprain’ and ‘non-throwing shoulder’. According to the New York Bone and Joint website, the severity level of an AC injury is measured on a scale of 1-6 (with Grade 1 being the least severe and Grade 6 the most). The website describes a Grade 1 tear as “a simple sprain to the AC joint with minor damage to the ligament... no separation of bones” and it seems logical that this is what Siemian is dealing with based on reports like the tweets above.
For injuries Grades 1-3 the website recommends ‘conservative treatment’ as opposed to surgical. The timetable for recovery from an AC joint separation is generally 2-12 weeks, but if the reports saying Siemian is only suffering from a sprain are true, he could be back as early as this weekend with the help of a little ice and and tape.
Siemian seems to find this scenario likely. “Just got a bum shoulder, a little sore,” he told ABC news after the game. “I think I’m just going to take it one day at a time...but yeah, that’s the plan, I’ll be ready to play.” The fact that the injury is to his non-throwing shoulder should also accelerate the recovery process in terms of getting him ready for next weekend.
Head coach Gary Kubiak seemed pretty confident regarding Siemian’s status, as well, saying after the game that he could have even returned to Sunday’s contest. Kubiak went on to praise Lynch for his performance and called Siemian ‘day-to-day’ for the time being.
It’s still early in both the diagnosis and treatment process, so it’s tough to gather anything concrete from the multitude of reports swirling around the interwebs, but it appears the Northwestern product may have dodged a bullet here. Bottom line: the Broncos play host to the surging Atlanta Falcons this Sunday and — for now — it seems reasonable to expect Touchdown Trevor will be back out there, much to the relief of Northwestern fans across the nation.