ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Paxton Lynch inched closer to full-blown bust status Monday when he was demoted to third string after Chad Kelly's solid debut in the Denver Broncos' exhibition opener.

Lynch was disappointed, Head coach Vance Joseph said, "but he understands that it's a performance business."

After a string of poor performances at training camp, Lynch was ineffective in seven series Saturday night against Minnesota, completing 6 of 11 passes for 24 yards and an interception to go with a sack.

Kelly, who missed his rookie season last year while recovering from wrist and knee injuries, completed 14 of 21 passes for 177 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in Denver's 42-28 loss to the Vikings.

Kelly celebrated his promotion by sticking around after practice Monday and throwing passes to tight end Jake Butt and receiver River Cracraft for more than 20 minutes.

Kelly thanked his teammates, saying they had just as much to do with his promotion.

When Case Keenum signed this spring and Trevor Siemian was subsequently traded to the Vikings, Broncos general manager John Elway said the No. 2 QB job was up for grabs.

Lynch, however, worked exclusively with the second-string offense until Monday, when they flip-flopped roles, leaving Lynch a sideline spectator during the two-minute drills, reflective of his new status as the team's third quarterback.

The switch at QB is as much a reward for Kelly's solid offseason as it is an indictment of Lynch, who hasn't made the strides Joseph and Elway expected of him in Year 3 — especially without the pressure of having to vie for the starting job again.

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