On Monday, Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak said he would “probably” decide the starting quarterback for Thursday’s preseason game against the Chicago Bears on Tuesday. On Tuesday after training camp practice, Kubiak decided to hold off on making that decision a little longer.

“I’m holding y’all off one more day,” said Kubiak with a smile. “We are going up this afternoon to go through all of that.”

Less than two hours after Kubiak made this announcement news broke that the coaching staff decided to go with veteran Mark Sanchez as the starter on Thursday.

This news came with little surprise after the way Kubiak conducted practice on Tuesday. Instead of Siemian and Sanchez sharing first team reps, as had been done in every other practice, Sanchez took all of the reps with the first team while Siemian took all of the second team reps.

This essentially means that the coaching staff was planning on Sanchez starting on Thursday before practice even began on Tuesday, and before Kubiak spoke to the media. It raises the question of why Kubiak didn’t announce that Sanchez was the starter when he talked to the media directly after practice on Tuesday.

The answer may be because the quarterback race is just that close, and far from over.

Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said once it’s time to make a decision for the regular season, it will be a very in-depth process involving many more people than just Kubiak and himself.

“Everything will be applied. We’ll use every bit of information and everybody’s opinion in the building, all of the offensive staff and just see how they do,” said Dennison. “But we got to have a starting point.”

Although Kubiak hadn’t yet announced who would be the starter, on Tuesday he did give indication on how the game will look in terms of playing time for the quarterbacks.

“Mark and Trevor will play a quarter apiece and Paxton [Lynch] will play the second half,” said Kubiak. “The bottom line is one of them is going to play with [the starters] and the other is not. I’m just going to play those starters a certain amount of reps so whoever goes first will get with those guys and we will see where we are at next week.”

Now that Sanchez has been named the starter, he will get all of the reps with the first team, which gives him a significant advantage moving forward; however, Kubiak tried to downplay the importance of this first decision.

“Really don’t [read into the decision],” said Kubiak. “What we are going to try to do is put a number on reps and what we want to see from each one of them so that from an evaluation standpoint we are looking at things pretty equally.”

Although naming Sanchez the starter for Thursday definitely gives him an edge, the most important thing for each quarterback will be how they play in these games. By the end of the night Thursday, there should be a much clearer picture of who will be starting under center in a much more important game on Sept. 8.