The NFL’s Denver Broncos confirmed Saturday evening that beginning quarterback Drew Lock, his backup and the crew’s follow squad signal-caller have all been declared ineligible for Sunday’s recreation in opposition to the New Orleans Saints due to coronavirus issues.
Broncos extensive receiver Kendall Hinton, who performed quarterback in school for Wake Forest, will deal with the job as an emergency fill-in, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport wrote on Twitter, citing info from a supply.
Along with Lock, the opposite ineligible gamers are backup Brett Rypien and follow squad veteran Blake Bortles. All three had been deemed high-risk shut contacts with No. 3 quarterback Jeff Driskel on Wednesday, the day earlier than Driskel examined constructive for COVID-19, a supply informed The Related Press.
“With NFL/NFLPA protocols mandating a five-day quarantine interval for high-risk shut contacts, we had been knowledgeable by the leage that Lock, Rypien and Bortles will likely be ineligible to take part in Sunday’s recreation in opposition to New Orleans,” the Broncos wrote in a press release posted on-line.
“We’ll proceed to work carefully with the NFL at any time when there’s a constructive COVID-19 case, together with sharing all out there info in a radical and ttimeley method to make sure the security of our crew.”
The information got here because the league and different sports activities organizations, like the remainder of the world, continued to grappled with the devastating virus, which has contaminated greater than 62 million individuals worldwide and killed greater than 1.4 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University.
In the meantime, the San Francisco 49ers had been contemplating their choices Saturday evening after new protocols in Santa Clara County, Calif., the place the crew performs house video games, appeared to make them unable to host video games at Levi’s Stadium for the subsequent a number of weeks, according to FOX 2 of the Bay Area.
The 49ers’ subsequent two house video games are scheduled for Dec. 7 and Dec. 13, the station reported, including that the crew had no rapid remark about its plans.
Within the Broncos’ assertion, the crew wrote that Lock, Rypien and Bortles have all persistently examined unfavorable for COVID-19, however the NFL had recognized them as “high-risk COVID-19 shut contacts.”
All three instantly left the crew’s follow facility after studying the NFL’s determination, the crew mentioned.
The crew’s assertion didn’t point out Driskel.
A supply talking on situation of anonymity informed the AP that every one 4 quarterbacks apparently weren’t sporting masks whereas collectively, as required by the league’s pandemic protocols.
Working again Royce Freeman was being ready for the quarterback position together with Hinton, the AP reported. Freeman was already thought of an emergency quarterback, the AP reported.
Information of the Broncos’ scenario sparked rapid response on social media, together with from Broncos tight finish Noah Fant.
“Anyone know if Peyton Manning is busy tomorrow?” Fant wrote, referring to the retired former Broncos star. “Laughing however critical.”
“I am not one to complain,” Fant wrote in one other message, “however @NFL y’all cannot presumably ship us right into a recreation with out a QB. A very powerful place to an offense. We do not even obtained a again up….”
The Broncos additionally joked concerning the scenario, asking the NBA’s Denver Nuggets if they may borrow a participant.
The NFL cleared the Broncos to follow on Thanksgiving Day after Driskel examined constructive for the virus and once more Friday after kick returner Deontae Spencer examined constructive together with two staffers, in keeping with the AP. However coach Vic Fangio determined to close down the constructing Friday and the crew performed conferences remotely.
Lock, Rypien and Bortles had been loosening up earlier than Saturday’s brief walkthrough follow after they had been pulled off the sector and despatched house.
They will should quarantine for a number of days and with a purpose to return subsequent week should proceed to check unfavorable for COVID-19. The NFL is not permitting any groups to assemble till Wednesday out of concern the Thanksgiving vacation may need uncovered gamers to an infection.
After studying of their dire scenario at quarterback, the Broncos’ mind belief of Fangio, basic supervisor John Elway and crew president and CEO Joe Ellis spoke with officers from NFL headquarters.
The league’s contact tracing protocols embrace checking digital contact gadgets, interviews and evaluate of surveillance, and the league has been busy investigating coronavirus circumstances on a number of groups.
Denver enters Sunday’s recreation with a 4-6 file whereas the Saints are 8-2.
The Related Press contributed to this story.