I’m sure it’s been quite a while since Paxton Lynch has gotten as much attention as he has over the course of the past week. But it’s also been a while since the former Denver Broncos first-round pick has been this realistically close to getting an opportunity to getting in the game as he could be tomorrow evening for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Here’s the situation. The Steelers are starting a rookie undrafted free agent, whom they have already benched once due to poor play, with two more experienced quarterbacks ahead of him having suffered season-ending injuries. Coming off seven quarters of play in which he has tossed six interceptions and also fumbled, it’s unclear what kind of leash he may have against the Baltimore Ravens, even if it’s Lynch now behind him.
Lynch, who thought he might stick around with the Seattle Seahawks earlier this year, was available as a street free agent in mid-September when the Steelers needed to bring somebody in following the trade of Joshua Dobbs, and then Ben Roethlisberger’s subsequent season-ending injury.
“I think I’m getting there,” Lynch said. “The more reps I get, the more comfortable I feel. The longer I’ll be here, the more comfortable I’ll get. But I feel like if my number is called I can go out there and execute”.
He was initially signed to the practice squad, with Devlin Hodges promoted to serve as Mason Rudolph’s backup, but after a couple of weeks, Lynch was promoted and has remained on the 53-man roster for the remainder of the season as the number three quarterback, though rare has been the opportunity for him to dress.
He was only ever the direct backup once before in Pittsburgh, in Week Six, after Rudolph was out with a concussion. Hodges made his first career start in that game, but even then, Rudolph was healthy enough to practice that week, so that still limited Lynch’s reps.
“I don’t sit here and wish about opportunities I didn’t get”, he added. “I’m just staying ready for the opportunity I do get, and, if I do get the opportunity to go in there, I’m going to go in there and help the team win the game”.
If the Steelers are put in a position in which Lynch enters the game, of course, it means they are in dire straits, and most likely that Hodges has turned the ball over at least twice, understanding that their seasons is rapidly slipping away.