COVID-19 and the NFL's protocols related to it have hit the Broncos hard in Week 12. Denver learned Saturday that it will be without all four of its quarterbacks for Sunday's game against the Saints after one tested positive for the coronavirus during the week and the other three were ruled out for being high-risk close contacts.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Saturday night that after Jeff Driskel tested positive Thursday, fellow QBs Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles interacted with him while not wearing masks. That made them high-risk, which in turn led to them being sent home and ruled out for the game.
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So while Broncos players Von Miller and Jerry Jeudy volunteered their services Saturday evening and the internet called for Tim Tebow to come back to Denver, the actual replacement options included running back Royce Freeman and a practice-squad wide receiver who played quarterback in college before changing positions.
That former, and maybe future, QB is Kendall Hinton.
Who is Kendall Hinton?
Kendall Hinton is a 23-year-old undrafted free agent out of Wake Forest, where he played his first three seasons at quarterback before moving to wide receiver for his final two seasons. Hinton was among Denver's training camp cuts in September but rejoined the team's practice squad on Nov. 4. He has yet to play in an NFL game.
Kendall Hinton's college stats
Hinton was a dual-threat quarterback at Wake. He finished his collegiate career completing 133 of 253 passes (52.6 percent) for 1,504 yards, with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also rushed 188 times for 881 yards and 12 scores. Most of his QB work came as a freshman in 2015. He made two starts in place of injured starter John Wolford, going 0-2 with losses to Indiana and Florida State. Hinton suffered a knee injury in Week 3 of his sophomore season in 2016, which led to a medical redshirt. After limited run at QB in 2017, Hinton was converted to wide receiver for the 2018 season. He finished his senior season in 2019 with 73 receptions for 1,001 yards and four touchdowns.
Broncos' other options to start at quarterback vs. Saints
Running back Royce Freeman reportedly is Denver's true emergency quarterback. He was the early favorite to take snaps behind center on Sunday. Denver reportedly asked the NFL to activate offensive quality control coaches Rob Calabrese, who played quarterback at UCF, and Justin Rascati, who played at James Madison, but were denied.