Brett Rypien

Broncos QB Russell Wilson Ruled Out, Brett Rypien Will Start

After Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett initially asserted that quarterback Russell Wilson would be a gametime decision, the first-year head coach decided to exercise caution today and announce that the team would hold back their big-money passer in order to allow his hamstring injury to heal and prevent a lingering issue down the line, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Denver will turn to third-year quarterback Brett Rypien to start in Wilson’s absence.

Wilson suffered the injury in last week’s overtime loss to the Chargers but was able to stay in and complete the game. Wilson felt he could play this week against the Jets, but Hackett will err on the side of caution and hold him out. Schefter also reports that Wilson’s injury will be re-evaluated next week to determine if he will even be able to return against the Jaguars when the Broncos travel to London.

Rypien will start his first game since his rookie season in 2020. Oddly enough, Rypien’s first start was also against the Jets. Rypien gave the Broncos their first win of the season that year with a performance that showcased both some good and some bad. In the lone start, Rypien completed 19 of 31 passes for 242 yards and 2 touchdowns but also gave away three interceptions. Regardless, he led the Broncos to a nine-point win over the Jets and will hope for a similar outcome tomorrow.

In a related move, the Broncos have used one of their gameday elevations on veteran, journeyman quarterback Josh Johnson to back up Rypien. Johnson started a game as recently as last year, when he subbed in on an injury-riddled Ravens offense that was without Lamar Jackson and Tyler Huntley. Johnson put forth an impressive performance in that game completing 28 of 40 pass attempts for 304 yards and two touchdowns, along with one interception.

The team will utilize their second gameday promotion on practice squad long snapper Mitchell Fraboni.

Broncos To Release QB Josh Johnson

The Broncos look to be going with a younger backup quarterback, with Mike Klis of 9News reporting (via Twitter) the team is releasing veteran Josh Johnson.

While this is old hat for Johnson, one of American sports’ great journeymen, Klis adds the Broncos would like him back on their practice squad. Johnson returning to Denver would mean a de facto spot as the team’s third-string quarterback. Brett Rypien remains on Denver’s roster as Russell Wilson‘s backup.

Despite Johnson’s historically nomadic journey — a sojourn that has passed through four leagues (NFL, United Football League, Alliance of American Football, XFL 2.0) — and age (36), the Broncos signed him early in free agency. The one-year, $1.22MM deal only guaranteed Johnson $100K.

Rypien has been with the Broncos since arriving as a 2019 UDFA, having made one start (in 2020) and attempted 42 regular-season passes.

Johnson does not have to pass through waivers; he can stay in Denver if he chooses. Teams can begin setting practice squads Wednesday afternoon. Although Johnson would make sense as a third QB for the Broncos, he does have a history of changing teams. For those curious, here is Johnson’s journey, in full: Buccaneers, 49ers, Sacramento Mountain Lions (UFL), Browns, Bengals, 49ers again, Bengals again, Jets, Colts, Bills, Ravens, Giants, Texans, Raiders, Washington, San Diego Fleet (AAF), Lions, Los Angeles Wildcats (XFL), 49ers again, Jets again, Ravens again, Broncos.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 4/11/22

Here’s a look at the latest tender decisions from around the NFL:

RFAs

Signed:

ERFAs

Signed:

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/28/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Los Angeles Rams

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Wednesday NFL Transactions: AFC West

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These BroncosChargersChiefs and Raiders moves will be noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s AFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Denver Broncos

Signed: 

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad: 

Kansas City Chiefs

Signed:

Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list:

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/30/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here. Teams have until 3pm CT Tuesday to pare their rosters down to 53 players.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: LB Darron Lee

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/1/20

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

All Broncos QBs Ineligible For Week 12

The Broncos and the NFL have run into a significant problem. Jeff Driskel‘s positive COVID-19 test earlier this week will lead to an unprecedented situation.

None of the Broncos’ three other QBs will be eligible to play Sunday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles have been deemed high-risk close contacts of Driskel. The NFL forced the Broncos to pull the three passers out of practice earlier today, Mike Klis of 9News tweets.

With the Broncos having no available QBs, this certainly puts the viability of Sunday’s Denver-New Orleans game in doubt. However, this game is still on schedule for Sunday, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. This seems like a tenuous proposition, but as of now, the Broncos would be forced to deploy a true emergency quarterback. They cannot sign any free agent passer to play Sunday, due to COVID-19 protocols.

Driskel’s Thursday positive test coincided with his three non-infected teammates not wearing masks, Schefter adds (on Twitter). It is not known how long the trio went without masks, but it was evidently long enough for the NFL to sideline an entire team’s QB room. The Patriots saw Cam Newton sidelined because of the virus earlier this season, and COVID-positive Lamar Jackson will miss Tuesday’s Ravens-Steelers game — should it stay on as scheduled. But the Broncos’ predicament drags the NFL into new territory regarding the virus.

The Broncos have a wide receiver on their practice squad, Kendall Hinton, who played quarterback at Wake Forest for three seasons, Klis adds (on Twitter). Quality control coach Rob Calabrese worked in that role at practice Saturday, Klis tweets. Hinton attempted 251 career passes with the Demon Deacons, though most of them came in 2015. He ran for 390 yards and seven TDs that season.

Broncos To Start Brett Rypien Vs. Jets

In what will seemingly become an increasingly difficult sell as a nationally televised game, Thursday’s Broncos-Jets clash will include another different Denver quarterback. The matchup between the winless teams will feature Brett Rypien calling signals for the Broncos, Vic Fangio confirmed Tuesday.

Rypien, who replaced Jeff Driskel in the Broncos’ Week 3 loss to the Buccaneers, will become Denver’s ninth starting quarterback since Peyton Manning‘s retirement. Fangio said Driskel may see time against the Jets, per Mike Klis of 9News (on Twitter), but the Broncos are trying one of their other backups while Drew Lock continues his rehab effort.

Since Manning’s retirement, the Broncos have used Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler, Case Keenum, Joe Flacco, Brandon Allen, Lock and Driskel as starters — the most in the NFL since 2016. Rypien, a second-year UDFA out of Boise State and nephew of former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien, went 8-for-8 in garbage time against the Bucs. He started four seasons for the Mountain West’s Broncos outfit, throwing 90 career TD passes at Boise State.

The injury-plagued Broncos signed Blake Bortles last week but were unlikely to use him for a short-week game. Should Lock need the estimated five- or six-week timetable to recover from his rotator cuff strain, it represents a decent bet Bortles will see time — given his experience edge on Rypien and Driskel. Rypien, at least, will play behind a more experienced right tackle than Driskel did. Longtime Bucs starter Demar Dotson will take over for the injured Elijah Wilkinson, Fangio said.