Drew Lock wrote on Twitter on Sunday afternoon that, “In a controlled and socially distanced area, we let our masking slip for a limited amount of time.”
That’s why the Broncos (4-6) will be without their four rostered quarterbacks for their Week 12 game against the Saints (8-2). Backup Jeff Driskel tested positive for the coronavirus in the lead-up to Week 12, and all three of Lock, Blake Bortles and Brett Rypien had to be added to the COVID-19/reserve list due to their status as high-risk close contacts. Reports indicated that the Denver quarterbacks had spent time together without wearing masks, likely leading to their status as the type of close contacts the NFL requires to quarantine for five days.
Lock’s social media message Sunday, about an hour before Denver’s kickoff at home against New Orleans, featured an apology and acknowledgment of why the protocols matter. It read in full:
As a proud member of the Denver Broncos, I can attest that our entire team has taken the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, following all the rules to keep each other safe. We’re tested daily, get quick results, and are confident our facility is a safe environment for everyone.
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.
I sincerely apologize and I fully understand why these safety precuations are so important. Doing the right thing for a majority of the time is not good enough.
I pray for my teammates’ health, safety and success today. I look forward to getting back on the field next week. Go Broncos
The lack of NFL quarterbacks means the Broncos are expected to start promoted practice squad receiver Kendall Hinton at quarterback. Hinton was a quarterback at Wake Forest prior to his final year of college, when he converted to receiver. Running back Royce Freeman has been suggested as Denver’s potential emergency quarterback.
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Prior to Week 12, Lock had struggled in his second NFL season out of Missouri. He missed time during the middle of the year with an injury to his throwing shoulder, and since returning, he’s been intercepted in each of the six games since (including twice on two occasions and four times in another game).
Lock is the only one of the four Broncos’ quarterbacks placed on the COVID-19/reserve list to have commented on social media as of 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon.