ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported the Broncos’ entire QB room can not play against the New Orleans Saints due to exposure to Covid-19.
All the QBs on the Broncos' roster are ineligible to play Sunday against the Saints after being deemed high-risk, close contacts, sources tell ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 28, 2020
None were wearing masks at the time of exposure, per source.
On Thanksgiving the Broncos placed Jeff Driskel on the Reserve/Covid-19 list. According to the CDC , a person usually develops symptoms five days after being infected, but symptoms can appear as early as two days after infection or as late as 14 days after infection, and the time range can vary. It is also possible to be asymptomatic.
Here's how Denver got wiped out at the QB position in a 72-hour span:— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 28, 2020
QB Jeff Driskel tested positive for COVID on Thursday.
Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles did not wear masks, per a source, and were deemed high-risk close contacts today. They now are out Sunday.
The Saints come into the matchup chasing the first seed in the NFC and may have actually improved with Taysom Hill at quarterback last week. Even if Fangio and the Broncos defense can slow him down, realistically they’ll have a near unwatchable passing game. Perhaps Royce Freeman in a Wildcat could work against the Jets, but this is arguably the best team in football. 9News’ Mike Klis has also floated another potential option. Remember we’re talking QB5 on short notice here.
All three Broncos QBs have been ruled out. One possible QB: Kendall Hinton. He's on Broncos practice squad as WR but he was a three-year starting QB at Wake Forest. (Won't be coach Rob Calabrese. League won't allow, I'm told).— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) November 28, 2020
There’s a chance we see some Wild Phil or plays with both Lindsay and Melvin Gordon on the field tomorrow. It’s hard to say because the Broncos have no time to practice. If this had occurred earlier in the week, we’d probably see some creative tries to find an impossible solution. It happened on Saturday. Basic handoffs will probably be an issue.
The optimistic way to look at this is the Broncos have the next two games against the strongest opponents on their schedule. Even at full strength (including Von Miller, et all) these games looked like 50-50 bets at most.
If there was ever a time to throw Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay on the field together, it's tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/teLHAMYFZC— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 29, 2020
The huge bummer is that this would have been the perfect game to evaluate Drew Lock. The Saints are a much stronger defense than the Dolphins last week. Could Lock make enough plays to convert the inevitable passing downs the Broncos would face?
There have been a number of people asking why the Broncos game doesn’t look like it will be postponed when the Steelers and Ravens game has been. KOA’s Benjamin Allbright answered the question on Twitter.
Per league source to me— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) November 28, 2020
High risk close contacts need 5 days of negative tests to be cleared. Even it if was moved to tuesday it wouldn't be enough time.
Now we’ll never know. Let’s hope everyone involved stays as safe as possible. Please take every precaution you can to protect yourself and loved ones.