A hectic week for the Denver Broncos has culminated in an unprecedented turn of events.
Starting quarterback Drew Lock and backups Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles have been ruled out for Week 12 after being deemed high-risk, close contacts to Jeff Driskel, NFL Network’s James Palmer reported Saturday, per an informed source. Driskel was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday after receiving a positive test result.
Palmer and NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported earlier in the day that the three QBs were pulled from Saturday’s practice to be further evaluated as part of close contact tracing linked to Driskel.
Rapoport also reported that practice squad receiver Kendall Hinton is expected to play plenty at the position in light of the unique circumstances. Running back Royce Freeman, who is considered Denver’s emergency QB, could also be involved in the gameplan, per Palmer.
An undrafted rookie out of Wake Forest, Hinton played QB during his five years in the program. His last meaningful snaps came on Oct. 17, 2017 against then No. 2 ranked Clemson; Hinton went 14-of-30 for 203 yards, 2 TDs and zero interceptions, and added 92 rushing yards on 24 carries in a 28-14 loss.
Sitting at 4-6 and currently on the outskirts of the AFC playoff picture, the Broncos’ Week 12 game against the 8-2 Saints figured to be an afterthought for most. The unforeseen lineup change now elevates this contest into “must-see” territory.