The Denver Broncos have lost all of their quarterbacks for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints, after they were declared ineligible for play due to NFL Covid-19 protocols.
In a statement on Saturday, the Broncos said Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as “high-risk Covid-19 close contacts” and must complete a five-day quarantine.
“The three quarterbacks, who are not experiencing any symptoms, immediately left the practice field and departed UCHealth Training Center. All three have consistently tested negative for Covid-19 via both daily PCR testing and additional POC testing administered as a precaution,” the team statement said.
Quarterback Jeff Driskel and wide receiver Diontae Spencer were placed on the Reserve/Covid-19 list earlier this week.
Several Broncos players, including tight end Noah Fant, reacted to the NFL decision on social media.
“I’m not one to complain, but @NFL y’all can’t possibly send us into a game without a QB,” Fant said on Twitter. “The most important position to a offense. We don’t even got a back up…”
“Anybody know if Peyton Manning is busy tomorrow? Laughing but serious,” he said in another post.
Denver, currently at 4-6 for the season, are scheduled to play the 8-2 Saints, who have won seven straight games, Sunday afternoon.
Three players from the Broncos practice squad were elevated to the game-day roster on Saturday, according to the team’s website: tight end Troy Fumagalli, linebacker Josh Watson and safety Alijah Holder.
The team has not announced a replacement quarterback.