The Denver Broncos not having any quarterbacks available Sunday may have been seen as the perfect opportunity for Colin Kaepernick to play in the NFL again.
But that was never a possibility, as league rules mandate that acquired players must remain in COVID-19 isolation for six days before joining their new team.
Denver instead will turn to receiver Kendall Hinton, a three-year starter at for Wake Forest, after learning none of their quarterbacks would be eligible against the Saints.
Jeff Driskel tested positive for the virus Thursday and was later deemed to have had close contact with the others, not leaving enough time for the team to put in a call for Kaepernick.
Then again, Denver, which hasn’t had a dependable quarterback since Peyton Manning in 2016, could have reached out to Kaepernick in the three years the 33-year-old has been out of the league.
Broncos legend and GM John Elway said in 2018 that he wouldn’t consider signing Kaepernick due to the two sides failing to reach an agreement in 2016: Kaepernick “had his chance to be here,” Elway told reporters at the time.
Kaepernick, a former second-round pick, tweeted last week that he was still “putting in the work” toward getting his first job in the NFL since opting out of a contract with the 49ers in 2017.
“1,363 days of being denied employment,” wrote the quarterback who nearly led the 49ers to a Super Bowl title in 2013.
Kaepernick was catapulted back into the national spotlight this summer, as professional athletes followed his lead in kneeling for the national anthem and protesting police brutality and racial injustice amid the country’s reckoning on racism.
He previously alleged the NFL and its owners blackballed him due to his social causes, and the two sides reached an undisclosed settlement in 2019.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said in the summer that he supported a team signing Kaepernick and wished he had “listened” earlier to Kaepernick’s message.
Kaepernick later accused the NFL of running “propaganda about how they care about Black Life.”