ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Officially, Drew Lock is questionable to play but probable to start.
And so it goes for the 2020 Broncos.
Lock was a full participant in each of the Broncos’ three practices this week as he continues to recover from the strained right throwing shoulder he suffered nearly four weeks ago. So why was he listed as “questionable” for the Broncos’ game Sunday at New England?
“Well, they took away the ‘probable’ category,’’ said Broncos head coach Vic Fangio, referring to the injury report each team must file prior to each game. “So the only choice was questionable or nothing, so we’re choosing questionable.”
Fangio added Lock is trending in the correct decision to start against the Patriots. Providing the Patriots have no further positive COVID-19 tests.
Lock has only played in one game and less than one quarter of a second game this season. Jeff Driskel started game 3 and Brett Rypien started game 4 way back on October 1, a 37-28 win at the New York Jets.
Broncos running back Melvin Gordon may not play Sunday after all, although not because of the DUI charge he received late Tuesday night in Denver. Gordon missed practice Wednesday following his speeding and DUI charge, returned to practice on Thursday, but was sent home Friday morning before practice with an illness the team said was not COVID-related.
Gordon is listed as questionable for the game against New England. His status may put his question mark in bold given the precautions the league is now taking with all symptoms whether COVID or not, .
The NFL said this week that players and coaches with flu symptoms would be held out of their respective facilities even if they test negative for virus.
If Gordon doesn’t play, Fangio said he would call up Jeremy Cox from the practice squad to serve as the No. 3 running back behind Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman.
Broncos veteran outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu (quad) and rookie receiver KJ Hamler (hamstring) have again been ruled out for the Patriots game. Tight end Noah Fant (knee), defensive tackle Mike Purcell (knee), Gordon (illness) and Lock (shoulder) are listed as questionable.
While Lock is on the probable side of questionable and Gordon would fall on the doubtful side of questionable, Fant is down the middle at 50-50.