Broncos coach Gary Kubiak announced Monday that backup quarterback Brock Osweiler will start in place of Peyton Manning Sunday against the Bears at Soldier Field.
Manning is suffering from foot, rib and ankle injuries. The future Hall of Famer was removed from Denver's loss to the Chiefs in the middle of the third quarter Sunday after completing just 5 of 20 passes for 35 yards with no touchdowns, four interceptions and a 0.0 passer rating.
Manning will be inactive against the Bears, with rookie Trevor Siemian serving as Osweiler's backup.
"All of our full attention is going to be to getting Peyton back and healthy," Kubiak said. "That decision has been made. I know that it's the best decision for him, for us to get him back and healthy. We need to know where we're heading this week with Brock and get our football team ready to play Chicago."
Osweiler was selected by the Broncos in the second round of the 2012 draft out of Arizona State. The 6-8, 240-pounder has appeared in 14 games, all as a reserve, in four seasons, completing 31 of 54 passes for 305 yards with two touchdowns, one interception and a 78.1 passer rating.
Osweiler will make his first NFL start on his 25th birthday Sunday at Soldier Field. After replacing Manning against the Chiefs, he connected on 14 of 24 passes for 146 yards with one TD, one interception and a 72.6 passer rating.
"There is nothing that replaces game reps and obviously I got a lot of live game reps against a great defense," Osweiler said Sunday. "So, did my confidence go up? Yes. Do I feel more comfortable out there? Yes. I think that is something that happens naturally the more game reps you get."
Although Osweiler has only played sparingly since entering the league, he isn't a stranger to the Bears. Coach John Fox served in the same role with the Broncos during Osweiler's first three seasons, while offensive coordinator Adam Gase was Osweiler's position coach in 2012 and coordinator in 2013-14.
"He's smart," Fox said. "He had the opportunity to learn under one of the best. For a big man he's got good quickness, good athleticism. I felt good about him. I didn't get a chance to see a lot of him, but when I did see him I liked what I saw."
Linebacker Shea McClellin insisted Monday that it doesn't matter who plays quarterback for the Broncos.
"It's not about who's at quarterback or who's playing or whatever," McClellin said. "It's about how we execute. We have to take it that way and game plan through the week and then execute on Sunday."