Wed, 27 Jan 2021

COVID knocks out QBs, Broncos reportedly eye practice-squad rookie

Field Level Media
29 Nov 2020, 15:20 GMT+10

With all of their other quarterbacks ruled out for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints, the Denver Broncos are reportedly turning to an undrafted player who has been on the team's practice squad only since last month.

Kendall Hinton, who completed 133 of 251 passes over five seasons at Wake Forest, will get the start, according to KUSA-TV in Denver on Saturday. NFL Network had reported earlier in the day that Hinton "will play plenty at QB tomorrow."

Adrian Jones, Hinton's former coach at Southern Durham High School in Durham, N.C., had spoken with a member of Hinton's family, and told Yahoo Sports that Hinton is "going to be getting a lot of touches at quarterback."

The Broncos' three remaining quarterbacks were ruled out for the game because of COVID-19 concerns, according to several reports.

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 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.

Hinton played 22 games at quarterback for Wake Forest before moving to wide receiver for his senior season. He caught 73 passes for 1,001 yards and four touchdowns in 2019.

KUSA had previously reported that running back Royce Freeman is seen as the Broncos' emergency quarterback, and that running backs Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay could line up at quarterback 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

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