DENVER, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Rookie Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is likely to make his first NFL start this weekend, multiple media outlets reported Saturday.
With Kyle Orton suffering from sore ribs, the struggling Broncos are likely ready to give the Heisman Trophy winner his much-anticipated first NFL start, the Denver Post, ESPN.com and the NFL Network all reported.
Orton missed an entire week of practices after sustaining a rib injury for the Broncos (3-10) during a 43-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, and, assuming he will be too sore to play Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, Tebow will get the starting nod, the Post said.
The two-time national champion from Florida was the Broncos' first-round draft choice, taken 25th overall last spring.
Broncos observers had expected Tebow to perhaps start one of the team's final two games of the season but Orton's injury has accelerated the timetable, the newspaper said.