With Wilson being the de facto QB 1, who will end up backing him up?
For the first time in what seems like forever, Denver Broncos fans finally don’t have to endure another training camp of watching a quarterback battle for the starting role. Heading into the 2022 season, Russell Wilson will obviously be the starting quarterback.
Like most positions on a football team, there needs to be a backup player. If Wilson can stay healthy for the entirety of the season, the backup quarterback won’t need to do much. If the worst-case scenario happens and he does get hurt, the Broncos will need to turn to the backup quarterback to lead the team in his absence.
Currently, the Broncos are carrying two other quarterbacks besides Wilson: Brett Rypien and Josh Johnson.
The Broncos signed Rypien as an undrafted free agent out of Boise State in 2019. During his tenure in Denver, he has mostly served as a backup and even the backup’s backup. He has also bounced back and forth between the active roster and the practice squad.
Rypien was thrown into a starting role in week four of the 2020 season vs the Jets. The season looked to be spiraling early as the team was 0-3 heading into the matchup vs. the Jets. Rypien’s performance would suffice, as the Broncos pulled out a 37-28 victory. Suffice is probably the best word to use considering they did end up winning, despite Rypien throwing for two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Despite a few more regular season throws here and there, he’s mostly made his appearances in the preseason.
In March 2022, the Broncos signed veteran quarterback Josh Johnson. Johnson has carved out a career in the league as a journeyman QB, spending time with 14 teams in his 11-year career in the NFL. Johnson has technically been an active football player for 14 years, but for three of those years he made appearances in leagues outside of the NFL.
If you take a glance at Johnson’s career stats, you might have a better understanding as to why he’s bounced around the league so much. To put it bluntly, he has not performed well enough to actually hold a roster spot on a team.
Regarding Rypien, he hasn’t seen enough time on the field to really make heads or tails of how good he is (or how good he can be.) But both quarterbacks will most likely stay backups for their careers.
It’s unlikely the team will carry three quarterbacks on the roster heading into the regular season. So as training camp continues and heads into the preseason, both Rypien and Johnson will battle it out for the backup gig.
My prediction is that Rypien will end up staying as the Broncos’ backup. He’s reportedly been “surging ahead” in the QB2 battle during camp. Great news for Rypien, bad news for Johnson, who could find himself being cut from a team once again.