Former Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien will start for the Denver Broncos on Thursday night at the New York Jets.
Rypien will become the third former Boise State quarterback to start an NFL game at the position — and just the second who finished his career with the Broncos.
Rypien replaces Jeff Driskel, who was ineffective as the starter last week after an injury to starter Drew Lock in the previous game. It could be a one-game cameo for Rypien because Denver has signed veteran Blake Bortles, who hasn’t been with the team long enough to make this start.
Rypien, who set the Mountain West record for career passing yards as the Boise State quarterback from 2015 to 2018, joined Denver as an undrafted free agent last year. He made his NFL debut off the bench Sunday, going 8-for-9 for 53 yards with an interception in a loss to Tampa Bay.
“We just think he deserves a chance here to see how he can do here, as a starter with albeit a short week of preparation and take a look at Brett that way,” Denver coach Vic Fangio said Tuesday, according to DenverBroncos.com.
The Thursday Night Football game will air at 6:20 p.m. Thursday on NFL Network. Both teams are 0-3.
“I think no matter who we’re playing right now, we definitely need a win,” Rypien said, according to DenverBroncos.com. “So yeah, that’s the main focus. The focus for me is just to try to get better these next two days. We’re not going to get a lot of reps full speed with the guys. It’s (about) the mental reps and making sure I’m dialed in on protections and things like that. If we can do that, we can go out there and get the ball moving on Thursday night.”
Rypien began his college career as a true freshman in 2015, replacing injured starter Ryan Finley — who went on to start three games for the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL last season. Finley completed his college career at North Carolina State.
Kellen Moore was the first former Boise State starting quarterback to start in the NFL. He started two games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2015.
Moore, now the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator, and Finley, the backup in Cincinnati, are a combined 0-5 as NFL starters.
Rypien threw for 13,581 yards and 90 touchdowns in 50 college games, completing 64% of his passes. He was an All-Mountain West first-teamer three times.