A day after saying he was disappointed his QBs put them in a difficult spot, coach Vic Fangio said Monday the organization’s faith in Lock hasn’t been shaken by this ugly episode.
Lock’s leadership traits, however, will be tested anew in December because he hasn’t shown this season that he’s undeniably the answer under center despite John Elway’s recent vote of confidence.
Lock has played poorly in 2020 — seven touchdown throws, 11 interceptions — and he’s missed 15 quarters of action with a shoulder injury and self-inflicted isolation.
Rookie practice squad receiver Kendall Hinton was thrust into the starting quarterback role with zero practice reps after Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were disqualified Saturday for having been mask-less around No. 3 QB Jeff Driskel last week before he tested positive for the coronavirus.
Hinton completed more passes to his opponents (two) than to his teammates (one) Sunday when he went 1-for-9 for 13 yards and a zero passer rating.
“A lot of respect for this guy,” Saints linebacker Demario Davis tweeted afterward. “He handled this situation like a real pro. I can only imagine the range of emotions and mental download he went through in 24 hrs.”
His teammates gave him props, too.
“Yeah, the results aren’t what we wanted but at the same time that’s mad respect to that kid,” left tackle Garett Bolles said Monday.
“Yeah, we’re all disappointed that it happened. It’s not just Drew. I know Drew’s getting the bulk of (the criticism) because he’s the starter, but there was four of them in there and you’d like for one of them to take the lead and make sure that they’re spaced out far enough,” Fangio said.
“But again, it’s just like with my kids. My kids have done things that have disappointed me during their upbringings, but I still love them. And I still love Drew and all of the quarterbacks. They made a mistake that we’re ready to move past.”
Well, not quite.
Fangio said Lock, Rypien and Bortles tested negative again Monday and if they test negative again Tuesday, they’ll be allowed back in the building Wednesday.
Still looming over them, however, is discipline from the team, which Fangio said would likely be in the form of fines.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
The Broncos’ adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
Fangio said Lindsay (knee) might return against the Chiefs this weekend, but top CB Bryce Callahan (foot) is expected “to miss some time.”
$35,882.35 game check for Hinton, who otherwise would have made $4,447.06 on the practice squad.
Last year, Lock was activated from IR after recovering from a sprained right thumb he sustained in the preseason and was given a five-week audition during which he went 4-1. That small sample size convinced Elway that Lock was his guy and the Broncos spent the offseason building around their quarterback instead of searching for another one.
Lock has an even bigger five-week test coming up, to prove he’s worthy — and trustworthy — of leading the Broncos in 2021.
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