The Denver Broncos continue to act as if Drew Lock’s injury isn’t that serious, but a well-known Broncos reporter is claiming otherwise.
Not long after the Broncos announced their 53-man roster — well, technically 52-man roster — Denver announced that their rookie quarterback would be placed on short-term injured reserve due to his thumb injury. In other words, he is out for the first eight weeks of the season.
While the Broncos continue to give the impression that Lock will be back during his rookie season, Woody Paige of The Gazette claims that Lock won’t return at all in 2019.
“Elway announced Saturday afternoon that Drew Lock, Jake Butt and Theo Riddick will be placed on injured reserve, and only two, by rule, will be eligible to return in eight weeks.
Lock would have been the No. 2 QB; Butt was supposed to be a contributing tight end, and Riddick was signed as a third-down back. When Lock tore a ligament in his right thumb, I reported, based on a reputable professional team doctor’s evaluation, that he would be sidelined six weeks or more although others claimed he might miss two weeks. Elway acknowledged that Lock “is several weeks away”, confirming the report. He won’t be back this season, and Butt and Reddick also won’t be ready any time soon.”
As Paige mentions, the Broncos did place three players on injured reserve, but by rule, only two of those three can return in eight weeks.
Follow the Heavy on NFL Facebook page for all the latest stories, rumors and viral content!
John Elway Stresses Drew Lock Will Be Back in 2019
However, president of football operations John Elway continues to stress otherwise — Lock will be back this season, via Kyle Fredrickson of The Denver Post.
“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 initially suffered the sprained thumb injury on his right hand after he was sacked and landed on his hand during the team’s loss against the San Francisco 49ers in the third preseason game. X-rays revealed no broken bones for the 22-year-old quarterback, who had established his hold on the backup job prior to the injury.
During Lock’s three preseason appearances, he completed 31-of-51 passes for 254 yards (60.8 percent) with one touchdown and an interception.
Elway stressed that the Broncos are still open to making moves on the waiver wire.
“We’re going to continue to try and get better when we see the wire,” Elway said. “If there’s something on there that will make us better, we’ll take advantage of it. You always got to have slots for that. You can’t use the IR slots for those guys, either. You have to make sure if there are opportunities on the wire, you have different moves you can make to take advantage.”
Not only will the rookie quarterback be sidelined for the first eight weeks — he won’t be able to practice for the first six weeks, either.
The injury — and recent report from Paige — are important considering the Broncos’ current quarterback situation. Denver has just one healthy quarterback in starter Joe Flacco after releasing backups Kevin Hogan and Brett Rypien on Saturday.
Broncos Interested in Hoyer as Backup QB
Mike Klis of 9News speculated that the Broncos could be interested in former New England Patriots backup QB Brian Hoyer, who spent time playing under current offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello. In other words, he knows the offensive system — which would mean he would be able to step right in as the team’s backup quarterback with just one week to go before the Broncos open up their regular season against the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night Football.
Dianna Russini of ESPN also confirmed the Broncos’ interest in Hoyer.
If Paige’s report is true, Lock missing his entire rookie campaign would be a major setback for both the rookie and the team.
READ NEXT: Report: Texans and Dolphins Pull Off Blockbuster Trade, J.J. Watt Reacts