By ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Professional Soccer Author
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos will not have any of their 4 quarterbacks accessible Sunday once they face the New Orleans Saints due to coronavirus considerations, a number of folks acquainted with the NFL’s investigation informed The Related Press.
One particular person informed The AP that starter Drew Lock, backup Brett Rypien and observe squad veteran Blake Bortles have been deemed high-risk shut contacts with No. three quarterback Jeff Driskel on Wednesday, the day earlier than Driskel examined constructive for COVID-19.
One other particular person, additionally talking on situation of anonymity to debate the delicate subject, mentioned the 4 quarterbacks apparently weren’t carrying their masks the entire time they have been collectively as required by the league’s pandemic protocols.
The folks spoke to The AP on situation of anonymity as a result of the NFL and the Broncos hadn’t made any bulletins after Lock, Rypien and Bortles have been ordered off the observe subject Saturday and into isolation.
The Broncos have been scrambling to arrange observe squad rookie receiver Kendall Hinton and No. three working again Royce Freeman to share snaps at quarterback Sunday when Denver (4-6) hosts the Saints (8-2).
Hinton performed quarterback for 3 seasons in faculty and Freeman is the workforce’s emergency QB.
The NFL cleared the Broncos to observe 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. However coach Vic Fangio determined to close down the constructing Friday and the workforce performed conferences remotely.
Lock, Rypien and Bortles have been loosening up earlier than Saturday’s quick walkthrough observe once they have been pulled off the sphere and despatched residence.
They will must quarantine for a number of days and so as to return subsequent week should proceed to check unfavorable for COVID-19. The NFL is not permitting any groups to collect till Wednesday out of concern the Thanksgiving vacation may need uncovered gamers to an infection.
After studying of their dire state of affairs at quarterback, the Broncos’ mind belief of Fangio, basic supervisor John Elway and workforce president and CEO Joe Ellis spoke with officers from NFL headquarters.
The league determined not power Denver to forfeit the sport or to postpone it like they did the Steelers-Ravens matchup that was pushed again from Thanksgiving to Sunday after which once more to Tuesday night time after the Ravens’ virus outbreak.
A virus outbreak in New England final month pressured the Broncos’ sport at Gillette Stadium to get pushed again every week and primarily value Denver its bye week due to the domino impact on the workforce’s schedule.
Fangio mentioned Saturday morning earlier than the developments at quarterback that there have been no new COVID-19 circumstances and he reiterated that he had no worries about his different QBs getting sick as a result of contract tracing had proven they hadn’t been inside 6 toes of Driskel earlier than he examined constructive.
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.
The information on the quarterbacks broke Saturday about the identical time the Broncos introduced that they had signed left sort out Garett Bolles to a four-year contract extension. Bolles, a 2017 first-round draft decide, has proven dramatic enchancment this season after the Broncos declined his fifth-year possibility.
AP Professional Soccer Author Barry Wilner contributed to this report.
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