On Sunday, the Denver Broncos were faced with a situation that no other team has been faced with this season.
Due to a covid-19 outbreak within their quarterback room, they were forced to deploy practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton to play quarterback.
A day earlier, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that Broncos quarterback Jeff Driskel had tested positive for covid-19 and fellow quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien, and Blake Bortles were deemed close contacts after not wearing masks during a film session and were ruled out for Sunday.
Here's how Denver got wiped out at the QB position in a 72-hour span:
QB Jeff Driskel tested positive for COVID on Thursday.
Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles did not wear masks, per a source, and were deemed high-risk close contacts today. They now are out Sunday.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 28, 2020
With no practice reps, Hinton completed just one of nine pass attempts for 13 yards and two interceptions as the Broncos lost to the Saints, 31-3.
There was a game today.
The final score is what it is.
Undrafted rookie WIDE RECEIVER @Kendall_Hinton2 came off the practice squad, had zero practice reps and competed in his first NFL game as the Broncos’ QUARTERBACK—an unprecedented situation.
He deserves all the respect. pic.twitter.com/C4UpkPTZBQ
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) November 29, 2020
Ironically enough, this is a situation that the Buffalo Bills have been preparing for all season long.
From the first week of the season, rookie quarterback Jake Fromm has appeared on the injury report every week and not many knew why until McDermott revealed it on Monday
“That’s honestly why we’ve done it, but it could’ve happened to anyone, us, or any position for that matter,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said on Monday. “It’s another great learning lesson for us.”
McDermott said at the beginning of the year he and General Manager Brandon Beane discussed the possibility and made the difficult decision to separate Fromm from the rest of the quarterbacks.
He’s not completely separated from the team, but McDermott said there are certain times during meetings and practice where he is separated so that he would be deemed safe if an outbreak were to occur in the quarterback room.
“Sometimes you make decisions in life that you aren’t sure if they are the right decisions, and with Brandon (Beane) and I making this decision, it wasn’t easy,” McDermott said on Monday. “Not only to separate a player from the team but also a rookie. It’s already hard enough to acclimate oneself and transition from college to pro. Now to be apart has made it all that much harder.”
Luckily, the Bills haven’t needed a third-string quarterback this season. Josh Allen has attempted 388 of Buffalo’s 395 passes and backup quarterback Matt Barkley has only had to come in sparingly throughout this season.
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From 5th Round Pick to Emergency Quarterback
The Bills weren’t planning on using a draft pick on a quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft, but when Fromm slipped to the 5th round this past offseason, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Joe Vitale from USA Today’s UGA Wire reported that Beane thought the opportunity was ‘too good to pass up.’
During his time at Georgia, Fromm appeared in 43 games, threw for 8,225 yards and 78 touchdowns, and recorded a quarterback rating of 156.1.
Fromm has yet to appear in an NFL game and due to covid-19 also missed out on his chance to prove his talent in the preseason with a lack of games.
No Need for an Emergency Quarterback Yet
Luckily for the Bills, they haven’t needed Fromm in any capacity yet and Josh Allen has put together one of the best seasons of his career this year.
In just 11 games, he’s thrown for 3,028 yards, 22 touchdowns, 275.3 yards per game, and has thrown a career-low eight interceptions. He’s stepped up on several occasions this season and has two games with 415 passing yards and three or more passing touchdowns.
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