All four of the Broncos’ quarterbacks missed Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints due to COVID-19 exposure, and now, they’re paying the price for their actions.
The four signal-callers — Drew Lock, Brett Rypien, Blake Bortles and Jeff Driskel — have been fined for failing to wear masks when necessary ahead of the Week 12 game. This led the team to place them all of their COVID-19/reserve list and forced practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton fill in behind center.
Driskel remains on the team’s COVID-19/reserve list, though the others have been removed.
The NFL potentially could still fine the team for failure to comply with league guidelines, and it could cost them a draft pick. (Just ask the Las Vegas Raiders.)
“We came in on that Tuesday and got some extra work in when no one was here, and we got too lackadaisical with (the protocols),” Lock told reporters Wednesday, via ESPN. “It ended up hurting us and it hurt this program and I apologize for letting that happen. We could have been better. That’s the point of the matter here. We needed to be perfect and we weren’t perfect. That’s something that we’ve got to be better at.
“… Watching it was a gut-wrenching feeling the whole time,” he added. “It was tough. It was really tough. It wasn’t something that I enjoyed doing. I would much rather have been out there on the field helping my teammates out. It hurt my heart, hurt my soul.”
Hopefully, the Broncos and other NFL teams have learned an important lesson from Denver’s debacle.