Injured or not, Mark Sanchez shows how badly he wants to be starter

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Over and over again in this offseason, Denver Broncos quarterback Mark Sanchez has said being the team’s starting quarterback is important to him.

And Tuesday he showed just how much.

Less than two weeks after surgery to repair a ligament in the thumb on his non-throwing hand, Sanchez was in uniform and behind center plenty for the Broncos' first organized team activities workout. Initially the Broncos believed Sanchez might miss this week’s set of OTAs and participate next week.

Though Sanchez did not take a snap from center, he worked with the starters plenty during the practice, throwing from the pocket as well as on the move.

"We knew he would," Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said. "... We knew he was going to do something; he actually did more than we thought. It’s important to Mark you can see it every day."

Trevor Siemian, a seventh-round pick in the 2015 draft who was the team’s No. 2 quarterback during Peyton Manning's recovery from a foot injury last season, and rookie Paxton Lynch still received the majority of work at quarterback. But Sanchez ran several plays with the starting offense.

Kubiak said Sanchez recently made the transition to a smaller cast on his left thumb/hand, which he injured in the team’s weight room last month.

"We want him doing everything he can; it was a just a matter of getting him to the smaller, soft cast," Kubiak said. "... He just can’t take a snap right now, but he should be pretty close to full [speed] next week."

Siemian continues to be sort of the middle child in any conversation about the depth chart at quarterback because he is between Sanchez and Lynch, the Broncos’ first-round pick in last month’s draft. But the majority of the work Sanchez didn’t get with the starters went to Siemian.

"Trevor did a great job today, very impressed with how far he’s come," Kubiak said.

Lynch did show the on-field enthusiasm Kubiak and executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway lauded during the draft. After throwing a touchdown pass to wide receiver Jordan Taylor during one set of team drills, Lynch sprinted down the field after the play.

"I love football, when you finally get a chance to put on a helmet and you go against each other and it’s competitive," Lynch said. "That was the first time I threw a touchdown in practice or game or anything in the NFL. It was pretty exciting."