Drew Lock

Drew Lock To Return To Broncos Practice

Despite Joe Flacco enduring a rough Thursday night against the Chiefs, the Broncos as of now do not have a viable alternative at quarterback. Their depth chart, however, could return to full strength soon.

Drew Lock will practice next week, Vic Fangio said (via The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala, on Twitter). The second-round rookie has been out since midway through Denver’s preseason slate with a sprained right thumb. He can come off IR in Week 9.

Interestingly, two other players on the Broncos’ IR list — Theo Riddick and wideout Tim Patrick — will join Lock in returning to practice. IR rules stipulate the Broncos can only activate one of them, so either Riddick or Patrick will end up on season-ending IR soon.

Flacco lost his Ravens job to a rookie last season, with Lamar Jackson usurping him while the longtime Baltimore starter was out with injury. Flacco fared poorly in the Broncos’ latest nationally televised spot, pointing to another benching at some point in this season’s second half.

It would stand to reason the 2-5 Broncos will want to give Lock time down the stretch. While the University of Missouri product did not have a strong preseason, the Broncos’ worst start in two decades points them toward evaluation mode. Determining if Lock is a realistic future starter will be key for a team that could still consider taking another quarterback in the 2020 draft.

Since Patrick landed on IR after the Broncos’ Week 1 game, he cannot return to action until Week 9. Patrick showed some promise as a rookie, catching 23 passes for 315 yards and a touchdown. This season’s Broncos offense has not featured much in the passing game beyond Courtland Sutton and Emmanuel Sanders, with DaeSean Hamilton playing a more limited role.

Riddick chose the Broncos over interest from the Saints and other teams but went down during Denver’s preseason slate. A shoulder fracture shelved Riddick, but the longtime Lions passing-down back will have a chance to begin his age-28 season soon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Place Lock, Butt, Riddick On IR

The Broncos have placed quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Jake Butt, and running back Theo Riddick on injured reserve, per a team announcement. All three will be eligible to return to game action after eight weeks, but the Broncos can only activate up to two players from IR, not the whole trio.

The moves will clear the way for three signings: linebackers Keishawn Bierria and Corey Nelson and cornerback Davontae Harris. Bierria and Nelson (see story here) will receive one-year deals while Harris gets a two-year pact.

If all three players return to full health, and Joe Flacco plays well, Butt and Riddick could be the leaders in the clubhouse for the Broncos’ IR-DTR spots.

Broncos Claim QB Brandon Allen

The Broncos have claimed quarterback Brandon Allen off waivers, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). Allen was dropped by the Rams on Saturday, making him available to the league’s 31 other teams.

Allen is now set to serve as Joe Flacco‘s primary backup. Drew Lock was supposed to be the top clipboard holder, but a hand injury will keep him sidelined for a while. Kevin Hogan, an internal candidate to fill that void, was dropped over the weekend.

In addition to Allen, the Broncos have also been awarded the following players off waivers:

  • TE Andrew Beck (Patriots)
  • C Corey Levin (Titans)
  • WR Diontae Spencer (Steelers)

Broncos Trim Roster To 53

The Denver Broncos made a slew of moves today to get down to 53 players. Notably, the team will place rookie second-round quarterback Drew Lock on injured reserve, meaning he’ll have to miss at least the first eight games of the season as he recovers from his thumb injury. The team cut journeyman Kevin Hogan and UDFA Brett Rypien, leaving them without a quarterback behind Joe Flacco. GM John Elway has said they’ll sign a veteran to backup Flacco for now, and we’ve already heard they’re interested in Brian Hoyer.

There weren’t too many surprises that we didn’t already know of. Brendan Langley, a 2017 third-round pick, failed to make the team. He was drafted as a cornerback, but switched to receiver earlier this offseason after he didn’t pan out on defense.

Here’s the full list of other moves:

Waived:

FB George Aston

T Quinn Bailey

WR Trinity Benson

LB Keishawn Bierria

OL Adam Bisnowaty

OL Jake Brendel

WR Fred Brown

LB Jamal Carter

CB Rashard Causey

WR Steven Dunbar Jr.

OLB Ahmad Gooden

CB Alijah Holder

RB Devontae Jackson

CB Trey Johnson

G/C Sam Jones

OL Tyler Jones

T John Leglue

WR Kelvin McKnight

RB Khalfani Muhammad

DL Deyon Sizer

CB Linden Stephens

TE Moral Stephens

RB David Williams

DE DeShawn Williams

Waived/injured:

C Ryan Crozier

LB Joe Dineen

OLB Dadi Nicolas

S Dymonte Thomas

Released:

Broncos Considering Drew Lock IR Stay

After ceding his Ravens job to Lamar Jackson last season, Joe Flacco does not look to be in danger of a demotion in Denver. Drew Lock‘s injury timetable may be longer than initially anticipated.

Expected to need at least five weeks of recovery time before he can resume throwing, Lock is now a candidate for the Broncos’ IR list. Vic Fangio acknowledged (via ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold) that is in play for the second-round pick. Lock suffered a “fairly serious” sprain against the 49ers on Monday and said Thursday he is not sure when he will be able to throw again.

Should Lock land on IR to start the season, after being carried through to the Broncos’ 53-man roster, he would need to remain there for a minimum of eight regular-season weeks. That would use up one of Denver’s two IR-return slots. The team also will have running backs Andy Janovich and Theo Riddick sidelined into the season. Both are expected to return from injury fairly early in the regular season, so they don’t profile as IR candidates at this point.

This injury would stand to stunt Lock’s growth, and while it clears the way for Flacco to potentially start the whole season, Denver’s new starting quarterback has dealt with maladies in three of the past four seasons. A torn ACL ended Flacco’s 2015 campaign, a back injury limited him in the 2017 offseason, and a hip problem brought Jackson into Baltimore’s 2018 lineup. Flacco will not play in the Broncos’ fourth preseason game, with Fangio set to sit most of his starters then and in the team’s fifth and final August contest.

As was the case last season, Kevin Hogan is now expected to be the Broncos’ backup. The Broncos used Lock as their No. 2 passer in recent practices and in Monday’s game. They have rookie UDFA Brett Rypien as well, but the Boise State product did not play in either of the team’s past two preseason games and profiles more as a practice squad stash.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos QB Drew Lock To Miss Time

Broncos quarterback Drew Lock has been diagnosed with a fairly serious sprain, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. On the plus side, there will be no surgery required. On the down side, Lock will have to miss some time as he recuperates. Ryan O’Halloran, citing Dr. Steven Shin, the director of hand surgery at Cedars-Sinai Kerlans-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, estimates that Lock will need five to six weeks to recover before he can start throwing again (Twitter link).

[RELATED: Mike Shanahan On Broncos’ Interest, Coaching Plans]

Before the injury, the expectation was that Lock would open the regular season as Joe Flacco‘s primary backup. Now, there will likely be a competition between third-stringers Kevin Hogan and Brett Rypien for the No. 2 QB spot. Hogan served as Case Keenum‘s backup last year, after Chad Kelly‘s departure, so he could have the upper hand. Indeed, Mike Klis of 9News.com suggests that Hogan will be the QB2 until Lock is ready to return, and that the team could ultimately try to sneak Rypien onto the practice squad.

A Kansas City, Mo., native, Lock concluded his Mizzou career with 99 touchdown passes — including 44 as a junior — and 12,193 yards. Flacco’s early work dissuaded the Broncos from using a first-round pick on a quarterback, but when Lock was still on the board in Round 2, the team decided to pull the trigger.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Collins, Broncos, Raiders, Finley

Jamie Collins held the distinction of being the highest-paid off-ball linebacker for nearly two years. His new deal with the Patriots is less glamorous. Escalators exist in Collins’ one-year, $2MM contract, and Mike Reiss of ESPN.com broke them down Sunday. If the eighth-year linebacker plays 50% of the Pats’ 2019 snaps, he will obtain an additional $250K. A 60% snap clearance will mean another $250K. This goes up in 10% increments until the 80% mark, when the incentives increase but also venture into not-likely-to-be-earned territory. Should Collins wind up in the Pro Bowl, he would earn an additional $500K. Collins was making $12.5MM per year on his Browns deal.

Here’s the latest from the AFC, moving westward:

  • It should be expected that Drew Lock is the Broncos‘ backup quarterback once the regular season begins, even after a shaky preseason start. But the Broncos also moved rookie UDFA Brett Rypien into position to challenge Kevin Hogan‘s roster spot. The nephew of former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien received the third-team reps ahead of Hogan in practice Sunday, Mike Klis of 9News notes. Lock took the second-team snaps. Hogan served as Case Keenum‘s backup last year, after Chad Kelly‘s departure. Rypien could conceivably be a practice squad stash, but Klis views the Broncos as giving him every opportunity to unseat Hogan.
  • On the defensive side of the ball, the Broncos made a move to address their depleted inside linebacker corps. Third-year safety Jamal Carter is now an inside linebacker, with Vic Fangio indicating (via The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala, on Twitter) Carter sought this switch. “I’ve been wanting to play this since high school and college,’’ Carter said, via Klis. “I like being in the trenches. I’m a physical specimen. I don’t like being too deep away from arms and contact. It’s going to fit me.” Todd Davis, Josey Jewell and Joe Jones are out with injuries presently. Carter, a 2017 UDFA out of Miami, missed all of last season due to injury and is on Denver’s roster bubble.
  • Set to use Andy Dalton as their starting quarterback for a ninth season, the Bengals did draft another passer this year. Their Ryan Finley fourth-round investment has gone well as the offseason has progressed, and The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. (subscription required) views a Bengals final roster that only includes Dalton and Finley at quarterback. This would mean Cincinnati cutting Jeff Driskel, who was needed for five starts after Dalton’s IR trip last year. A 2016 sixth-round pick, Driskel posted a 31.6 QBR in his 2018 work.
  • The Raiders placed cornerback D.J. Killings on IR on Sunday, doing so because he tore a pectoral muscle in the team’s preseason opener Saturday. Killings, a third-year UDFA, will undergo surgery, Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal tweets.

Broncos’ Drew Lock On Contract Talks

On Wednesday, the Broncos finally hammered out a contract with draft pick Drew Lock. Lock, the No. 42 overall pick in the draft, reportedly wanted a “quarterback premium” to give him a higher salary than his slot. On Thursday, Lock addressed that and more with reporters (quotes via Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic, on Twitter): 

Any anxiety about possibly missing time during his contract negotiations?

I was anxious to get out on the field, but I knew we were trying to get things worked out. The Broncos and my agency were working together, but I told my agency beforehand, if it got to the point where I was missing practice, then there was no chance we were going to go on with it. I was going to sign a deal and I was going to get here, because the most important thing to me was getting out here. If I missed the conditioning test, which I made up after practice…that was OK because I was able to make it up. But, missing anything else is just not who I am.”

Did you know what a [quarterback premium] was?

I’m sure [agents Tom Condon and Jimmy Sexton] all have a really good idea of what a quarterback premium is. I’m not 100% sure what a quarterback premium is. I know that’s what they were talking about. For me, to get to the point where it was time for me to come practice, I guess in my head the quarterback premium I didn’t know much about was going to get thrown out the window, because I needed to be out here.”

(Note: Lock received workout bonuses in the third and fourth years of his deal, which the Broncos haven’t done in six years, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com noted on Twitter. Dalton Risner, taken with the No. 41 overall pick, also secured these bonuses.)

Did you push to get the deal done so that you wouldn’t be behind?

100%. I didn’t necessarily want to get behind in anything…There was no ounce of me that didn’t want to be out here on this football field, taking every rep that I was supposed to take, and being with the guys every second that I could be today and the rest of training camp.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos, Drew Lock Agree To Deal

The Broncos will have their entire rookie class ready to go when they convene for practice Thursday. After some drama, the team and Drew Lock reached an agreement on the second-round pick’s four-year deal, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk tweets.

Set to conduct their first training camp practice Thursday morning, the Broncos now have their six-man draft class under contract. They signed No. 41 overall pick Dalton Risner on Tuesday and, after a report emerged about the No. 42 selection seeking a “quarterback premium,” will have Lock ready to go as well.

The Broncos did not give into any demands of an overslot deal, with Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic confirming the team gave Lock the same workout bonuses it did Risner (all Twitter links) and the $3.1MM signing bonus that comes with the No. 42 slot.

Lock poses as John Elway‘s third try to find Peyton Manning‘s long-term successor through the draft. Denver’s GM has gone through Brock Osweiler (2012 second round) and Paxton Lynch (2016 first round) and was long linked to being intrigued by the four-year Missouri starter. The fourth quarterback off the board this year, Lock will attempt to develop behind Joe Flacco.

Obviously we’ve been looking for one since Peyton retired,” Elway said Wednesday of the Broncos’ quarterback situation (via The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala, on Twitter). “That’s always a difficult position to fill, but I finally feel pretty good about that position with where we are.”

A Kansas City, Mo, native, Lock concluded his Mizzou career with 99 touchdown passes — including 44 as a junior — and 12,193 yards. Flacco’s early work dissuaded the Broncos from using a first-round pick on a quarterback, but when Lock was still on the board in Round 2, the team decided to pull the trigger. This would seemingly take the Broncos out of the running for a 2020 QB investment, and given the rate at which highly drafted passers have begun their tenures as NFL starters, Lock starting at some point this season appears likely.

Only nine 2019 rookies remain unsigned. Here is the Broncos’ full rookie class:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Notes: Sanders, Butt, Lock, CBs

After Chris Harris and Emmanuel Sanders suffered season-ending injuries in a four-day span last December, the Broncos lost their final four games and reassembled their coaching staff. The team did not make any major additions at wide receiver this offseason, waiting until the sixth round to address the spot. Sanders has shown steady progress during offseason Achilles rehab, but the 32-year-old wideout conceded Tuesday (via The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala, on Twitter) he will not be full-go to start Denver’s training camp. With the veteran not yet certain to be ready to play by Week 1, a stay on the active/PUP list to start camp seems likely. The Broncos, whom Bill Barnwell of ESPN.com ranked 31st on his list of skill-position groups, are counting on Sanders to reprise his role as a key starter.

With the Broncos two days away from training camp, here is the latest out of Denver:

  • While Sanders may not avoid the active/PUP list, it appears Jake Butt will. The third-year tight end is attempting to recover from the third torn ACL of his playing career, but the Michigan product said (via the Denver Post’s Ryan O’Halloran, on Twitter) he will not land on the PUP list to start camp. However, the Broncos will still ease him back to practice work. The Broncos brought back Jeff Heuerman and drafted Noah Fant, but Butt could still be a nice bonus for a team with an uncertain pass-catcher situation.
  • Denver used third-round picks in 2017 and ’18 on cornerbacks, but neither Brendan Langley nor Isaac Yiadom have a locked-in role going into camp. Langley has been moved to wide receiver, and Yiadom might not even be the favorite for the team’s No. 4 cornerback gig. The Broncos’ top three of Harris, Bryce Callahan and Kareem Jackson (in nickel sets) is set, and O’Halloran notes Alliance of American Football refugee De’Vante Bausby may be the player to beat for the Broncos’ CB4 role. Bausby played for Vic Fangio briefly in 2016 and suited up for six Eagles games last season.
  • Dalton Risner agreed to terms on his second-round rookie deal. Drew Lock has not. But the Broncos are not planning to cave to Lock’s reported aim at securing an overslot deal. They will not pay Lock more than what Risner received, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. Risner was taken 41st overall, and while Lock was projected to be a first-round pick for most of the draft process, the four-year Missouri starter went 42nd.