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Who will be Broncos starting QB with normal QBs on Covid-19 IR list

The Broncos quarterback depth chart has been decimated by Covid-19. We break down the emergency options to start in Week 12.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons wide receiver Kendall Hinton (2) runs during the second quarter of the Pinstripe Bowl between the Michigan State Spartans and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on December 27, 2019 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY. Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Denver Broncos face the New Orleans Saints in Week 12, and for the time being, they will be doing so without any of the quarterbacks on their roster available to play. Jeff Driskel tested positive for Covid-19 and now the remaining three QBs — Drew Lock, Brett Rypien, and Blake Bortles — have all been deemed high risk close contacts. Even if they test negative for Covid-19, they are out a minimum of five days, which means they cannot play on Sunday.

The Broncos-Saints game could still end up postponed, but if not, the Broncos have a serious issue. They can’t sign a free agent for the game because the NFL’s Covid-19 protocol requires any new addition to the roster quarantine for five days before joining the team.

That leaves two options in the Broncos organization. Running back Royce Freeman is also the team’s emergency quarterback. The team would likely go to a much more run-heavy offense in that instance, with Freeman maybe getting some shorter passing opportunities. The other option is practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton. Although Hinton is listed as a wide receiver he spent three seasons at Wake Forest playing quarterback. He converted to wide receiver before his final season, but as a QB he completed 133 of 251 passes (53%) for 1,504 yards, eight touchdowns, and seven interceptions.

Hinton seems the more likely option given his college QB experience. Freeman attempted one pass in college and has no attempts in the NFL. We could see the Broncos use some wildcat formations with him, as well as Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay, but for more traditional passing game work, look for Hinton to get the opportunity.