Orlin Wagner, Associated Press
Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton (8) passes to a teammate during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010.
If no team puts in a claim by 2 p.m. Wednesday, Orton will be an unrestricted free agent who can sign with any team.

Kyle Orton's bumpy ride with the Broncos ended Tuesday when the team waived the veteran quarterback 10 games into his third season.

Orton, who didn't comment on his departure when contacted, had discussions with Broncos coach John Fox over several weeks before Orton and the team decided it was best for him to be placed on waivers with Tim Tebow having taken over as the starting QB for the rest of the season.

"I think it just emphasizes even more strongly that this is Tim's year the rest of the way, to see what he can do," said former Broncos safety John Lynch, who was the Fox television network's analyst for the Broncos' 45-10 loss to the Lions last month and shares an agent, David Dunn, with Orton. "Knowing Kyle, I'm sure he believes there are better opportunities out there for him to play."

Fox didn't comment publicly but released a statement: "I spoke with Kyle and thanked him for everything he did for the Broncos. This was the right decision for our football team. We feel good about our quarterback group, and this gives Kyle an opportunity to help another team and showcase his talents."

If no team puts in a claim by 2 p.m. Wednesday, Orton will be an unrestricted free agent who can sign with any team. Rights to claims are determined from worst record to best.

VICK NOT PRACTICING: Michael Vick is not practicing Wednesday because of broken ribs, and it's uncertain whether the Pro Bowl quarterback will play when the Philadelphia Eagles host New England on Sunday. Vick broke his two lower ribs on the second play of the Eagles' 21-17 loss to Arizona on Nov. 13 and missed last Sunday's 17-10 win at the New York Giants.

PAINTER TO START: Colts coach Jim Caldwell has picked quarterback Curtis Painter to start Sunday's game against Carolina. Painter replaced the injured Kerry Collins against Pittsburgh in September and has started every game since then. But after posting quarterback ratings of 51 or less in each of his past four games, fans were clamoring for another change.

BILLS' JACKSON OUT: Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson won't play Sunday in New York against the Jets because of a leg injury.