Broncos place QB Beuerlein on injured reserve

Updated: October 21, 2003, 5:59 PM ET

ENGLEWOOD, Colorado - Originally thought to miss four to five weeks with a broken right pinkie, Steve Beuerlein will now miss the remainder of the season.

The Denver Broncos on Tuesday made the decision to place the veteran quarterback on injured reserve, ending his season.

Already without starting quarterback Jake Plummer, the Broncos watched Beuerlein go down with his injury in the third quarter of Sunday's 28-20 loss at Minnesota.

Beuerlein was expected to be sidelined for four to five weeks before Tuesday's surprise announcement.

Starting his second straight game in place of Plummer - who is expected to miss at least a month with a broken foot - the 38-year-old Beuerlein struggled against the Vikings.

Beuerlein completed just 9-of-19 passes for 119 yards and three interceptions before leaving late in the third quarter with his injury.

For now, the Broncos will go with Danny Kanell as their starting quarterback. Denver (5-2) plays at Baltimore on Sunday.

After Kanell replaced Beuerlein against the Vikings, he nearly rallied the Broncos by completing 12-of-18 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown.

Kanell threw a one-yard TD pass to running back Mike Anderson with 6:45 left to pull the Broncos within 28-20. In the final minute, he drove Denver to the Minnesota 30 but had a fourth-down pass batted down at the line of scrimmage.

Kanell, 29, signed with the Broncos in June after being out of football for two years but was released on September 1 when coach Mike Shanahan decided to keep just two quarterbacks.

Plummer's injury made it necessary to add a third quarterback, and Kanell was re-signed on September 17.

Kanell last played in 2000 for Atlanta, starting one of five games. He spent three years with the New York Giants and went 7-2-1 as a starter in 1997 when they won the NFC East title.

In his five-year career, Kanell has completed 52 percent of his passes (450-of-871) for 4,791 yards and 29 touchdowns with 30 interceptions.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index