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Broncos benching Russell Wilson, will start Jarrett Stidham vs. Chargers

The Broncos will start backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham and keep Russell Wilson on the bench against the Chargers in Week 17.

New England Patriots v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

In a surprise move, the Broncos have announced that quarterback Russell Wilson will not start this week against the Chargers. Backup Jarrett Stidham will now start in Week 17 with Wilson backing him up.

The move comes on the heels of potential future financial implications for the Broncos should Wilson wind up severely injured during the team’s final two games. As it stands, Wilson is fully guaranteed $39 million for the 2024 season. However, if he is unable to pass a physical in March of 2024, he’d be guaranteed an additional $37 million. With the Broncos unsure if Wilson is still their quarterback of the future, the team is choosing to keep him out of harm’s way while simultaneously seeing what they have in the younger Stidham.

Another variable playing into the decision is Sean Payton admitting that the offense has not been good enough during their 1-3 record over the past four games.

With the Chargers continuing to start Easton Stick, Sunday’s matchup will be yet another divisional contest with either team starting a backup passer.