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Broncos' Vic Fangio: QB Drew Lock Could Open 2019 Season on IR with Thumb Injury

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 23, 2019

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 19:  Quarterback Drew Lock #3 of the Denver Broncos passes against the San Francisco 49ers in the second quarter during a preseason National Football League game at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on August 19, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio told reporters that rookie quarterback Drew Lock may begin the 2019 season on injured reserve due to a thumb injury. 

"Obviously because it's his throwing hand and a thumb, that's a pretty serious injury for a quarterback,'' Fangio said per Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com. "It will be some time before we know exactly where he's at and how much time he would miss.''

"Yeah, it could be if we don't think he can play for a while," Fangio continued when asked about the potential of Lock landing on injured reserve. "The bad thing about it is because of the injury he can't do much."

Per Legwold, the signal-caller suffered the injury in the third quarter of his team's Week 2 preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers.

In three preseason contests, Lock completed 31 of 51 passes for 254 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The ex-Missouri star, who the Broncos took 42nd overall in the 2019 draft, is currently listed as the third quarterback on Denver's latest depth chart. Joe Flacco is slated to start, with Kevin Hogan as the backup.

If Lock is forced to miss extended time, Brett Rypien figures to be the next man up. The undrafted rookie out of Boise State completed 67.3 percent of his passes and tossed 30 touchdowns in his senior year.

And per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Rypien may even have a chance to unseat Hogan for the backup quarterback job:

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

#Broncos coach Vic Fangio told me Kevin Hogan and Brett Rypien “will get the bulk of the play, if not all of it” in the two remaining preseason games (which means little to no Joe Flacco). Backup QB competition is on after Drew Lock’s injury. @nflnetwork @NFLTotalAccess https://t.co/gY8rkInNdR

As for Lock, he's itching to get back ASAP.

"[I'm] trusting the [training] staff in there to get me back as soon as possible,'' Lock said. "Whenever that is, we'll decide on whenever I'm 100 percent ready to go.''

Lock also told Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic that he'll be using the team's virtual reality equipment for training as he recovers.