The Denver Broncos are avoiding a week of speculation about their Week 11 starting quarterback. Head coach Gary Kubiak announced that Peyton Manning will be inactive this weekend against the Chicago Bears. Brock Osweiler will get the start, and Trevor Siemian will be the No. 2 quarterback.
This news comes following a report that Manning is dealing wth a torn plantar fascia in his foot. He tore it last week, and it clearly was a problem. Manning has already been struggling, but he was particularly awful against the Broncos. He was benched in the second half, and Osweiler finished out the game. It remains to be seen how long Manning will be out with his foot injury, but Kubiak said they will re-evaluate the situation next Monday.
I bring this up here because I have little doubt the San Francisco 49ers will be linked to the Broncos in Colin Kaepernick trade rumors after the season wraps. The 49ers benched Kap prior to their Week 9 win over the Atlanta Falcons, and Blaine Gabbert will make his second consecutive start when the 49ers face the Seattle Seahawks this weekend. Even with a poor performance, I don't see Gabbert losing the starting job over the next few weeks, and I suspect we see Gabbert starting the team's remaining games this season.
The 49ers have to decide by April 1 if they are going to take on Kap's 2016 base salary. They could make a trade after April 1, but they will lose some measure of leverage once they have guaranteed his 2016 salary. The 49ers could end up releasing him, but there will be trade rumors before that happens.