IR trip possible for Broncos QB Lock

Field Level Media

August 22, 2019 at 9:27 pm.

Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio said a trip to injured reserve for quarterback Drew Lock could be a consideration after the rookie sprained his right thumb Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers.

“Obviously because it’s his throwing hand and a thumb, that’s a pretty serious injury for a quarterback,” Fangio said Thursday. “It will be some time before we know exactly where he’s at and how much time he would miss.”

The Broncos could open up a roster spot without ending Lock’s season by putting him on IR after the cut-down to the 53-man roster. Lock would be recallable from IR after eight weeks, though he could not practice if healthy enough to do so before the eight-week period ends.

“The bad thing about it is because of the injury, he can’t do much,” Fangio said.

Lock hit the thumb while being taken down for a sack in the third quarter of Denver’s 24-15 loss. He said he hasn’t had a sprain this severe before and doesn’t know how long he’ll be out.

“I’m not 100 percent sure,” Lock said. “Just going to leave that up to the people in (the training) room to kind of evaluate it a little bit. I know my pain tolerance. I know that level of stuff, but I think they’re going to make the best decision on when I should be stepping back out on the football field.”

In the meantime, Lock plans to “heavily” use the team’s virtual reality training program to take mental reps.

The second-round pick (42nd overall) began training camp as the third-string quarterback behind starter Joe Flacco and backup Kevin Hogan, but he played with the second team ahead of Hogan in practice last week and in Monday’s game.

Lock went 7 of 12 for 40 yards against the 49ers, bringing his preseason stat line to 31 of 51 for 254 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

“I felt as if I was starting to play a little better and maybe starting to earn that (backup) role,” Lock said.

Fangio added, “He was improving daily, and I saw good strides. I’d say he was tracking towards (the backup job). I wouldn’t say he had it yet.”

The Broncos don’t plan to add another quarterback right now, according to Fangio. Hogan will start Saturday against the Los Angeles Rams, with most of Denver’s starters sitting out on both sides of the ball, and he likely begin the season as the backup, given Lock’s injury. Undrafted rookie Brett Rypien will also play “a good bit.”

Fangio also said it’s possible tight end Jake Butt will make his first appearance this preseason on Saturday.

Butt has battled setbacks during training camp in his recovery from a torn ACL sustained last September, his third torn ACL dating back to college. He returned to practice last week.