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Broncos Rookie QB Drew Lock to Start Season on IR Because of Thumb Injury

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 31, 2019

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 19:  Quarterback Drew Lock #3 of the Denver Broncos drops back to pass 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 president of football operations John Elway told reporters Saturday that rookie quarterback Drew Lock will start the season on injured reserve.

Per the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Lock suffered a "bad" thumb sprain during his team's Aug. 19 preseason matchup with the San Francisco 49ers.

No surgery is needed. However, Lock is expected to miss the season's first eight games, according to Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic.

The Broncos took the 22-year-old Lock with the 42nd pick in the 2019 draft. The 6'4" signal-caller tossed 99 touchdowns during his career at Missouri, including an SEC-record 44 in 2017.

He completed 31 of 51 passes for 254 yards, one touchdown and one interception in three preseason contests. Lock also ran for 28 yards on six carries and was sacked six times.

The question is who the backup will be behind starter Joe Flacco. The Broncos cut Kevin Hogan and Brett Rypien on Saturday, meaning Flacco and Lock are the only two signal-callers on the roster.

Jhabvala commented on the Broncos' quarterback situation, mentioning the recently released Brian Hoyer, formerly of the New England Patriots:

Nicki Jhabvala @NickiJhabvala

Broncos QB situation seems pretty fluid. Could be a few available via trade in the Bay Area. Brian Hoyer now available, too.

The Athletic beat writer wasn't the only reporter to connect Hoyer with the Broncos, as Ryan O'Halloran of the Denver Post did the same:

Ryan O'Halloran @ryanohalloran

Back at Super Bowl, asked Brian Hoyer about his experience with #Broncos OC Rich Scangarello when both were in SF. Hoyer now a FA per reports ... https://t.co/YIbkrcHs2g

Troy Renck of Denver ABC7 noted Hoyer brings a "working knowledge of the offense" should the Broncos land him.

Regardless, the Broncos need to make a move for a backup quickly with their season set to start Monday, Sept. 9, against the Oakland Raiders