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Drew Lock, Broncos QBs Fined by Team for Breaking COVID-19 Protocols

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2020

Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock, right, confers with quarterback Riley Neal during NFL football practice Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio told reporters on Wednesday that the team fined Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles for not wearing masks during a team meeting last week. 

All three were deemed "high-risk" after attending the meeting with Jeff Driskel, who reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, and missed Sunday's blowout loss vs. the New Orleans Saints

So the Broncos (4-7) had to turn to practice-squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton at quarterback, along with running the Wildcat formation with running backs taking the snap. 

It didn't go well. Hinton finished 1-of-9 for 13 yards and two interceptions. The former Wake Forest quarterback was sacked once. The Broncos as a whole finished with just 112 yards of offense and lost 31-3. 

"In a controlled and socially distanced area, we let our masking slip for a limited amount of time. An honest mistake, but one I will own," Lock wrote in a statement Sunday. "I sincerely apologize and I fully understand why these safety precautions are so important. Doing the right thing for a majority of the time is not good enough."

Fangio told reporters Sunday he was disappointed with his quarterbacks:

"We count on them to be the leaders of the team and leaders of the offense and those guys made a mistake and that is disappointing. Obviously, I haven't done a good enough job of selling the protocols to them when they are on their own so part of that could fall on me. I thought I was. We have emphasized it a lot and we're really doing good with COVID up to this point ... relative to other teams. There was a failing there and that's disappointing."

Lock, Rypien and Bortles were all activated from the COVID-19/reserve list on Tuesday. They are available to play for the Broncos in a tough Week 13 matchup with the 10-1 Kansas City Chiefs

Driskel remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list, though Mike Klis of 9News reported Monday that "Driskel, who has no symptoms, can return by Saturday if his tests come back clean."

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