Orton said earlier this week he was healthy enough to play after sitting out last week’s game at Oakland with a rib injury. Orton expressed displeasure with not being able to finish the season as the starter. Orton was playing at a Pro Bowl level for much of the season.
But at 3-11, the Broncos wanted to give Tebow a chance to show what he can do in the final three games. In making Orton the No. 3 quarterback Sunday, it virtually ensures he won’t play Sunday or likely next week against visiting San Diego.
If Tebow makes progress in the final two games, Orton could have played his final game for Denver despite the fact he signed a contract extension last summer through next season. After being made No. 3 Sunday, Orton may be enticed by the idea of playing elsewhere next season.