Report: All Broncos QBs ruled out amid COVID-19 concerns

Nov 22, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) scrambles with the ball against the Miami Dolphins in the fourth quarter at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos will face an unprecedented situation on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints after all three of the teams’ remaining quarterbacks were ruled out for the game because of COVID-19 concerns, according to a report from ESPN on Saturday night.

The quarterbacks -- Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles -- each were removed before the start of Saturday’s practice because of contact tracing involving fellow quarterback Jeff Driskel, who tested positive for the coronavirus earlier in the week. None of the other three quarterbacks was wearing a mask at the time of exposure to Driskel, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

The Broncos (4-6) are scheduled to host the Saints (8-2) on Sunday afternoon. No change to the game’s status has been announced.

Running back Royce Freeman serves as the Broncos’ emergency quarterback, according to KUSA-TV in Denver. The Broncos also could rely upon running backs Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay in the wildcat formation.

The network reported that Broncos offensive quality control coach Rob Calabrese ran the offense during practice Saturday. Calabrese played quarterback at Central Florida and could be an out-of-the-box option to join the Broncos’ active roster as an emergency signal-caller.

Lock has started eight games this season, completing 55.6 percent of his passes for 1,767 yards with seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Driskel and Rypien made one start each.

Bortles is on the Broncos’ practice squad. He has thrown for 103 touchdowns and 75 interceptions in six NFL seasons.

--Field Level Media