ENGLEWOOD, Colorado – Three Denver Broncos quarterbacks, including starter Drew Locke, may return to training and the team’s facility on Wednesday after each negative COVID-19 test Tuesday, ESPN sources confirmed.
Locke, Brett Ripien and Blake Bortles, who are on the training team, were considered high-risk close contacts with Jeff Driskel, who tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday. After concerns about contact tracking data and violations in the league’s COVID-19 and social distancing protocols, the three were withdrawn from the training field on Saturday and none of them were in uniform for the 31-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. The three were found not wearing masks around Driskel at one point while watching a movie together on a weekend.
Broncos coach Vic Fangio said on Monday that if the three received negative results from tests on Tuesday, they would return to team activities on Wednesday. All three were tested negative again, as they have been every day since Driskel was transferred to the reserve list / COVID-1
9News was the first to report that the quarterback had a negative test on Tuesday.
Fangio said Monday that additional discipline is still “on the table” for Locke, Ripien and Bortles if discipline does not come from the NFL, including the possibility of a fine for behavior harmful to the team.
The Broncos were fined $ 250,000, and Fangio was fined $ 100,000 earlier this season for non-compliance with mask protocols and now faces the prospect of a fine as well as the potential loss of a project for a recent incident.
Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis issued a statement Tuesday morning that read in part: “We share the disappointment of our fans with the challenging and unique situation our team faced at the last minute this weekend. fingers are pointed out, all of us must take responsibility and work together so that this does not happen again. “
Ellis, who is battling COVID-19 himself this season, also thanked the medical staff, players and other team staff. Ellis also said in a statement that he met Monday, via video conference, with Broncos football operations president / general manager John Elloway and Fangio on “what needs to be done to strengthen” in the COVID team’s efforts. -19.
Ellis also said “we will learn from this.”
The Broncos have also begun the process of providing quarterback Kyle Shurmour, who is the offensive son of coordinator Pat Shurmour, through COVID-19 protocols to be signed. If the Broncos do not release a quarterback by the time Shurmour is released for team meetings and training, he will be the fifth quarterback in the squad or training team.
Fangio said Monday that a quarterback quarantine option would be discussed in the coming weeks, “but I think if we just follow the protocols, we’ll be fine.”
Locke apologized on social media before Sunday’s game and said he had made “an honest mistake, but one I will have.”
Wide-choice successor Kendall Hinton played 24 of the team’s 43 clicks in a quarterback attack on Sunday, while the Broncos had running defenders Philip Lindsey and Royce Freeman make direct clicks the rest of the time. Hinton was 1-of-9, passing for 13 yards with two interceptions after his 24-hour crash in the offense, and the Broncos won a total of 112 yards.