The Denver Broncos quarterback situation will get better this week. According to ESPN, three Broncos quarterbacks, including starter Drew Lock can return to practice and the team's facility on Wednesday after testing negative for COVID-19 on Tuesday. Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were deemed high-risk close contacts to Jeff Driskel, who tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday. It led to the team pulling all three from practice on Saturday and not dressing for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints.
Lock, Rypien and Bortles were reportedly not wearing masks when they were around Driskel while watching film together. Broncos president and CEO Joe Ellis said in a statement: "We share in the disappointment of our fans for the challenging and unique situation our team faced at the last minute this weekend. While it's easy to point fingers, all of us must take responsibility and work together to prevent it from happening again.''
On Sunday, Lock released a statement admitting to not following the NFL guidelines for masks when the quarterbacks had a meeting. "In a controlled and socially distanced area, we let our masking slip for a limited amount of time. An honest mistake, but one I will own," Lock wrote in a statement. "I sincerely apologize and I fully understand why these safety precautions are so important. Doing the right thing for a majority of the time is not good enough."
The Broncos quarterbacks' mistake led to the team going with practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton as the starting quarterback on Sunday. Broncos running backs Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman also acted as quarterbacks, taking direct snaps in the team's 31-3 loss. Hinton finished the day completing just one of his nine passes for 13 yards and two interceptions.
"I was disappointed on a couple levels," Fangio said after the game Sunday. "That our quarterbacks put us in this position and that our quarterbacks put the league in this position. We count on them to be the leaders of the team and leaders of the offense and those guys made a mistake and that is disappointing. Obviously, I haven't done a good enough job of selling the protocols to them when they are on their own so part of that could fall on me. I thought I was."