Two former Boise State quarterbacks moved up their teams’ depth charts this week.
Brett Rypien, who was the Broncos’ starter the past four seasons, has been promoted from the practice squad to serve as the Denver Broncos’ backup Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, according to the team website.
Denver placed starter Joe Flacco on injured reserve and plans to start former Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen, who will be making his NFL debut. Rypien, an undrafted free agent, is the backup with second-round draft pick Drew Lock still on the injured list.
“I’ve come out every single day with the mindset that I’m going to be the starter, and that’s always the mentality I’ve taken towards (this job),” Rypien said, according to the Denver Post. “For me, it’s all about being ready, because I knew I’ve been only a couple plays away.”
Rypien was 27-for-44 for 207 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions in three preseason appearances. He left Boise State as the Mountain West’s all-time leader in passing yards (13,581).
“He’s a smart guy with a strong arm,” first-year wide receiver Fred Brown said, according to the Denver Post. “Honestly he should’ve been drafted, and a lot of people were surprised he wasn’t, but he’s here now and he’s going to make the most out of his opportunities.”
Meanwhile, Finley is scheduled to make his first NFL start next week against the Baltimore Ravens. The Bengals (0-8) are off this week and took the opportunity to transition from Andy Dalton to Finley, a fourth-round draft pick this year.
Finley arrived at Boise State in 2013 and was the season-opening starter in 2015, but Rypien took over when Finley sustained a broken ankle during the season. Finley transferred to North Carolina State in 2016, where he starred for three seasons (60 touchdown passes in 39 games).
Finley was 47-for-64 for 414 yards and three TDs with one interception in the NFL preseason. He hasn’t appeared in a regular-season game yet.
“I feel like I got good experience in the preseason,” Finley said this week, according to Bengals.com. “Obviously it’s a lot different. But those are some good plays that I can fall back on in my mind. I’ve got confidence in myself. I think I’m going to play well.”
Kellen Moore, now the Dallas Cowboys’ offensive coordinator, is the only former Boise State Bronco to play quarterback in an NFL regular-season game.