In a year of new experiences across sports and the world, the football world finally learned the answer to one of the most-asked questions: What happens when an entire position group becomes ineligible to play due to COVID-19?
It took 12 weeks, but we’ve finally seen it. The Denver Broncos will be without all four of their quarterbacks for Sunday’s game vs. the New Orleans Saints.
This all started with third-string quarterback Jeff Driskel testing positive before practice on Wednesday. The team doctors made two decisions that likely made things worse. First, they kept the team facilities open on Wednesday despite a positive test and deemed that the roster’s remaining quarterbacks were not close contacts. Then, on Friday, wide receiver and kick returner Diontae Spencer as well as two staff members came down with positive tests, which closed the facilities.
After going over the details of the Driskel exposure, the NFL found that the remaining quarterbacks on the roster were close contacts. Further, and much worse, the quarterbacks were not wearing masks around him. With that, the NFL stepped in and said that none of the signal-callers are available. No Blake Bortles, Brett Rypien, or Drew Lock.
Where does this leave the Broncos? For starters, the league is still planning to let the game play on as scheduled. As for the quarterback plans, they will likely have two “quarterbacks” available. According to Denver reporter Benjamin Allbright, practice squad receiver Kendall Hinton, who played quarterback for a few years at Wake Forest, will start. Third-string running back Royce Freeman, who has been the gameday emergency quarterback all season, will likely be the backup.
The game outlook was already bleak for the Broncos, but it looks like a Mile High Miracle will be needed to pull this one out against the best team in the NFC.
Follow Zach Gotlieb on Twitter @zachgotlieb
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