Report: Broncos Rookie QB Drew Lock to Make 1st Career NFL Start vs. Chargers

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorDecember 1, 2019

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 08: Quarterback Drew Lock #3 of the Denver Broncos looks for an open teammate during the NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on August 8, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie/Getty Images)
Dougal Brownlie/Getty Images

Rookie quarterback Drew Lock will get his first NFL start against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

On Wednesday, Denver Broncos general manager and president of football operations John Elway told KOA (h/t Andrew Mason of DNVR) that Lock and Brandon Allen would split practice reps. Troy Renck of Denver7 reported Lock's practice reps increased Wednesday and that it was "his job to lose."

The 3-8 Broncos are playing out the string under first-year head coach Vic Fangio. The defense ranks a respectable 12th in Football Outsiders' defense-adjusted value over average, but the offense is 26th.

A struggling passing game has hindered the Broncos: Per Pro Football Reference, Denver ranks just 25th in net yards per pass attempt and last with nine passing touchdowns.

Joe Flacco kicked off the season at quarterback, going 2-6 and tossing six touchdowns to five interceptions. A bulging disc in his neck prematurely ended his season, and Allen took over. The 27-year-old out of Arkansas led the Broncos to a 24-19 win over the Cleveland Browns in his debut with two touchdowns and 193 yards.

Much of that production, however, came on a short completion to Noah Fant that turned into a 75-yard score after three missed tackles.

Allen completed just 43.6 percent of his passes in a 27-23 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 11 before going just 10-of-25 for 82 yards with an interception in a 20-3 defeat by the Buffalo Bills.

As for Lock, the first-year pro out of Missouri completed 31 of his 51 passes for 254 yards and one touchdown with one interception in three preseason games. He had six carries for 28 yards.

However, he sprained the thumb on his throwing hand, forcing the Broncos to place him on injured reserve. He returned to practice Nov. 12.

The Broncos selected Lock with the 42nd pick in the 2019 draft.