The Denver Broncos will not have a quarterback on their roster Sunday when they take on the New Orleans Saints.
A person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to USA TODAY Sports on Saturday that all three of Denver’s active QBs (Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel) — plus practice squad quarterback Blake Bortles — have been placed on the COVID-19/restricted list and are ineligible to play this week. The person requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
Adam Schefter of ESPN was first to report that all three players were ineligible and were considered high-risk contacts of a person who tested positive — and none of them was wearing a mask at the time.
The news comes in the wake of the NFL shutting down all team facilities on Monday and Tuesday to slow the spread of the virus.
What will the Broncos do with no one to lead the offense?
A team official told USA TODAY Sports on Saturday night that rookie wide receiver Kendall Hinton, who played quarterback at Wake Forest, is expected to be elevated from the practice squad on Sunday and get the start.
The official added that the Broncos are still sorting through their options, which include running back Royce Freeman. The person requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.
Freeman has served as the Broncos’ emergency quarterback this season. The third-year pro has never thrown a pass in his NFL career and only had one pass attempt during his four years in college at Oregon. However, that one pass during his freshman season did go for a 26-yard touchdown.