The Denver Broncos started as undrafted free agent wide receiver at quarterback on Sunday because all four of their quarterbacks had to sit out due to being positive for the coronavirus or high-risk COVID-19 close contacts.
Unfortunately the game hasn’t been played yet so I cannot relay to you the results, but I can go over the unique circumstances that have allowed it to come to this.
One of the Bronco’s quarterbacks, Jeff Driskel tested positive for the virus on Thursday and was deemed out for the game on Sunday. The other three quarterbacks, Brett Rypien, Blake Bortles and Drew Lock were all pulled off the field on Saturday because of contact-tracing concerns.
The Broncos asked the league to move the game to Tuesday so they could possibly get at least one of their quarterbacks off of the reserve/COVID-19 list by then, but the league denied that request.
The Broncos then asked the league for permission to start Rob Calabrese, who was the offensive quality control coach for the team for the past two years. Calabrese at least knew the offense and could run the system that was in place, but the league denied that request and told them they could not activate a coach to the roster.
Hinton, who was a quarterback in college, was a dual-threat quarterback at Wake Forest, but was signed to the practice squad of the Broncos as a wide receiver. His quarterback career at Wake Forest was average at best, but the issue here is that he doesn’t know the system as a quarterback for the Broncos.
Hinton didn’t even play his full college career as quarterback. He started his freshman year then moved to the back up roll for two seasons before moving to wide receiver his senior season.
I wish I could make sense of what goes into these moves by the NFL to make the Broncos play on Sunday, but allow other teams to cancel and move games. The Ravens and Steelers were set to play Thanksgiving night in what would surely be a huge rating night for NBC, but the Ravens had COVID-19 issues and the game was moved to Tuesday.
I don’t claim to know all of the facts, but it seems if the league can move that very important game on Thursday to a Tuesday, they could let the Broncos move their game because they literally have no quarterbacks available.
Either way it is a big day for Hinton who has never played a down in an NFL game and will start at quarterback today for the Broncos.
Only in 2020 would a NFL game take place with all four quarterbacks for a team out and an undrafted wide receiver with no experience in the NFL starting a game on short notice. It should be quite interesting to watch.