The Denver Broncos purposely kept reporters in the dark concerning Drew Lock’s thumb injury and its subsequent recovery timeline.
On Saturday, after the Broncos formed their 53-man roster, clarity was provided.
General manager John Elway announced in a press conference that the rookie quarterback will be placed on injured reserve/designated to return, costing him the first eight regular season games. Which is perfect, because Lock’s injury — a “bad” sprain on his throwing hand — will sideline him for 6-8 weeks, Elway confirmed, finally.
“It’s not a year off for him,” he cautioned. “He’s going to be able to do everything but be on the football field … we expect him to continue to work hard, get a good feel, continue learning the offense.”
Lock was hurt in the second quarter of the Broncos’ third preseason game, a loss to the 49ers on Aug. 19, after he was sacked and landed on his hand. Replay caught Lock flexing the hand, in obvious discomfort, as he walked off the field. He was examined on the sideline by the team’s medical staff, who initially deemed the injury “mild,” per head coach Vic Fangio.
“Just got a little pressure on that play and rolled out just trying to get out of the pocket,” Lock explained. “High stepped through the first one, I felt like I was high enough out of the pocket enough to burn it and not get an intentional grounding call. I went to go do it but got tripped up and right as I was going to throw, and as the ball is coming out I landed on my thumb. I’ve jammed my thumb playing basketball 1,000 times. It kind of felt like a jammed thumb and they just wanted to check it out.”
X-rays revealed no broken bones for Lock, whom Denver traded up to select with the No. 42 overall pick in this year’s draft. But an MRI showed a multi-week malady, forcing the club to rethink its options at quarterback.
Lock, who was pushing to cement the backup job behind Joe Flacco, completed 31-of-51 passes for 254 yards (60.8 percent), one touchdown and an interception. He took a whopping six sacks, due in large part to Denver’s porous second-string offensive line.
Elway’s Plan of Attack at QB
Guarded was the Broncos’ czar in regard to his next addition under center. The team released veteran signal-caller Kevin Hogan and undrafted rookie Brett Rypien, leaving only Flacco on the depth chart. That should change within the next 24 hours, as Denver is reportedly targeting ex-Patriots QB Brian Hoyer.
“We’re exploring all options at this point in time,” Elway said.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL