Jun 1, 2021; Englewood, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) and quarterback Drew Lock (3) during organized team activities at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Teddy Bridgewater named starting QB for Broncos

Teddy Bridgewater won the quarterback competition in Denver and will start Week 1 for the Broncos on Sept. 12.

“Coach (Vic) Fangio informed our team this morning that Teddy Bridgewater will be the Broncos’ starting quarterback,” read a brief message posted Wednesday to the team’s official Twitter account.

Drew Lock started for the Broncos last season but faced competition in the offseason and throughout the preseason from the well-traveled Bridgewater.

The news for Bridgewater comes five days before the fifth anniversary of a devastating preseason injury to his left knee that forced him to miss all of the 2016 and all but one game of the 2017 seasons. He led the Minnesota Vikings to an 11-5 record in 2015 and was named to the Pro Bowl.

Fangio took a few days to make the decision following the Broncos’ 30-3 preseason win over the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday. In that game, Bridgewater completed 9 of 11 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown, while Lock went 9 of 14 for 80 yards.

Bridgewater, 28, passed for 3,733 yards with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 15 games for the Carolina Panthers last season. He has started 49 games in his NFL career for the Vikings, New Orleans Saints and Panthers.

Denver acquired Bridgewater in an offseason trade with the Panthers in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick.

Lock, 24, has thrown for 3,953 yards, 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions with a 59.1 percent completion rate in 18 starts over two seasons. He missed time in 2020 due to both a shoulder injury and COVID-19 protocols, and the Broncos only won four of his 13 starts.

The Broncos open the 2021 season on the road against the New York Giants on Sept. 12.

–Field Level Media

Jun 1, 2021; Englewood, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) and quarterback Drew Lock (3) during organized team activities at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos’ Vic Fangio still mulling team’s starting QB

Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio isn’t ready to declare the identity of his starting quarterback due in large part to what he’s seen from both Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater.

Fangio was asked on Saturday if he’s closer to making a decision.

“I am. Because the calendar’s closing in on us,” Fangio said after the Broncos’ 30-3 preseason win over the host Seattle Seahawks.

As for when that decision will become public?

“The earliest it would be would be early next week, or we’ll let it go another week. Because these guys, both of them, Drew and Teddy, have done well, as you guys have seen, and they’ve made it a hard decision. So we’ll give it thorough thought. We’ve been discussing it with the coaches, with George (Paton, general manager) all along, and we’ll continue to do that.”

Bridgewater completed 9 of 11 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown on Saturday, while Lock went 9 of 14 for 80 yards.

Bridgewater, 28, passed for 3,733 yards with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 15 games for the Carolina Panthers last season. He has started 49 games in his NFL career for three different teams.

Denver acquired Bridgewater in an offseason trade with the Panthers in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick.

Lock, 24, has thrown for 3,953 yards, 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions with a 59.1 percent completion rate in 18 starts over two seasons. He missed time in 2020 due to both a shoulder injury and COVID-19 protocols, and the Broncos only won four of his 13 starts.

–Field Level Media

Jun 1, 2021; Englewood, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) and quarterback Drew Lock (3) during organized team activities at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Teddy Bridgewater will get second preseason start for Broncos

Incumbent starting quarterback Drew Lock will start Denver’s first preseason game but offseason acquisition Teddy Bridgewater will start the second.

The pair are locked in one of the most compelling battles of training camp, with Broncos coach Vic Fangio saying recently that neither has separated from the other.

The Broncos open the preseason against the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday. Game 2 will be at Seattle on Aug. 21.

Lock is a slight favorite to win the job in Week 1, coming in at +100 on DraftKings. Bridgewater sits at +120.

In 18 starts over two seasons, Lock has thrown for 3,953 yards, 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions with a 59.1 percent completion rate. He missed time in 2020 due to both a shoulder injury and COVID-19 protocols, and the Broncos only won four of his 13 starts.

Bridgewater passed for 3,733 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 15 games for the Panthers last season. He has started 49 games in his NFL career for three different teams. Denver acquired Bridgewater in an offseason trade with the Panthers in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick.

–Field Level Media

Jul 29, 2021; Englewood, CO, United States; Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) during training camp at UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos OC: ‘Best version’ of Drew Lock he has seen

Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has liked what he’s seen so far from both Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock. But it was his praise for Lock in particular that may turn heads after a bumpy start to the quarterback’s pro career.

“I’ve seen both guys getting better,” Shurmur said Tuesday at Denver’s training camp. “This is the best version of Drew that I’ve seen. I think he’s done a really good job.”

Shurmur added that the coaching staff has helped Lock fine-tune his grasp of the offense and his decision-making as he enters his second season in Shurmur’s system.

But he reiterated that the 2019 second-round draft choice has “just improved,” stirring the pot surrounding the Broncos’ starting quarterback competition, one of the few unsettled situations in the NFL this summer.

Denver acquired Bridgewater in an offseason trade with the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick. Bridgewater, who is still only 28, is in line to make his fourth team since the Minnesota Vikings drafted him in the first round in 2014.

Shurmur said that Lock and Bridgewater do not require vastly different philosophies in order to succeed.

“No, I think the way we function offensively and I think the new age offenses, they both can go in and execute what we do,” Shurmur said. “It won’t be obvious to the untrained eye, but there will be a handful of things that Teddy does better than Drew and vice versa. Those are the things we’ll lean on because it always comes down to the plays that you run have to feature and focus on the players that you have, and by working together and practicing, we get a good feel for that.”

Shurmur overlapped with Bridgewater for two seasons with the Vikings while Bridgewater was injured with a torn ACL and dislocated knee. He praised Bridgewater for catching up to Lock’s built-in “advantage, to some degree, as far as knowing how we focus and how we function.”

Bridgewater passed for 3,733 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 15 games for the Panthers last season. He has started 49 games in his NFL career.

In 18 starts over two seasons, Lock has thrown for 3,953 yards, 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions with a 59.1 percent completion rate. He missed time in 2020 due to both a shoulder injury and COVID-19 protocols, and the Broncos only won four of his 13 starts.

–Field Level Media

May 24, 2021; Englewood, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) and quarterback Brett Rypien (4) and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) during organized team activities at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Teddy Bridgewater, Drew Lock embrace competition as Broncos hit field

Teddy Bridgewater did not hesitate when asked about the last time he was in a quarterback competition.

It was yesterday. And the day before. And on and on.

“Every day I wake up, I consider myself competing for my job,” Bridgewater said Monday. “I think that’s the mindset of everyone who plays this game.”

This time, the competition is obvious to everyone outside the team, as well. Bridgewater took part in organized team activities with his new club, the Denver Broncos, as he battles for the starting job along with incumbent Drew Lock.

Bridgewater completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,733 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 15 starts last season with the Carolina Panthers. Denver acquired the 28-year-old on April 28 in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick.

The veteran deflected questions about whether one season was enough time to prove himself in Carolina, instead saying he was focused on the Broncos. He said he is focused on improvement, not whether the Broncos consider him the top quarterback today or in Week 1.

“I saw Von (Miller) this morning when he came in the building,” Bridgewater said. “The first thing he said today was, ‘You’re here to play football now.’ That’s my mindset now. I’m here to play football and whatever happens, happens. I’m here to help this team become a better team.”

Lock, 24, started 13 games for the Broncos last season. He completed 57.3 percent of his passes for 2,933 yards, 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

The Missouri product welcomed the addition of Bridgewater to practice.

“It’s going to be fun,” Lock said. “I’m excited to be able to go out there and have this competition, push myself to a whole different level that maybe I wouldn’t have gotten to without this.”

So far, the two quarterbacks have connected off the field as they compete for a starting job on it.

“Teddy’s been great,” Lock said. “Today was obviously the first time meeting him in person being that we’ve all had to be on Zoom again up until this point. I feel like we’re going to be able to talk easily out there. It comes from seeing Drew (Brees) play. He’s seen a lot of great quarterbacks and he’s played a lot of ball. He has a lot of experience.

“I feel like we can both bounce things off of each other now where I don’t feel necessarily that I’m the young one.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) looks to pass in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos acquire QB Teddy Bridgewater from Panthers

The Denver Broncos acquired quarterback Teddy Bridgewater from the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Per the NFL Network, the Panthers will pay $7 million and the Broncos will pony up $3 million as part of the restructured contract to finalize the deal.

Bridgewater, 28, will vie for the Broncos’ starting job with Drew Lock. Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel are also in the quarterback room.

“Acquiring Teddy Bridgewater adds competition, experience and a strong veteran presence to our quarterback room,” Broncos general manager George Paton said in a statement. “He’s a talented player and leader who’s had success in this league in a number of different situations. Being familiar with Teddy from Minnesota, he’s going to compete and do everything he can to help us win.”

Denver has the No. 9 pick in the draft, which begins on Thursday.

The Panthers reportedly informed Bridgewater earlier this month that he can seek a trade following the team’s acquisition of quarterback Sam Darnold from the New York Jets. Carolina also has quarterbacks Will Grier, P.J. Walker and Tommy Stevens on its roster.

A former first-round pick, Bridgewater signed a three-year, $63 million deal with Carolina in March 2020 and started 15 games for the Panthers. He threw for 3,733 yards with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions for the Panthers, who went 4-11 in those games.

The Panthers hold the eighth overall pick in the draft Thursday.

Bridgewater has thrown for 11,385 yards with 53 touchdowns against 36 interceptions in 59 career games with the Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints and Panthers. He has also rushed for 713 yards and nine touchdowns.

Lock, 24, is 8-10 as a starter through two seasons, completing 59.1 percent of his passes for 3,953 yards with 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Oct 1, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Jeff Driskel (9) throws the ball before the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos fine every QB for violating COVID protocols

The Denver Broncos on Wednesday announced they have fined every quarterback for violating the league’s COVID-19 protocols.

Starting QB Drew Lock, backups Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel as well as practice squad player Blake Bortles were all docked an undisclosed amount after all four missed last week’s game in the aftermath of Driskel testing positive for the virus.

“It was a mistake,” Broncos coach Vic Fangio said Wednesday. “We paid a price for it with what happened in the game. It’s time for all of us to move on.”

Video from a position meeting revealed none of the QBs were wearing a mask before Driskel tested positive. The other three were deemed high-risk close contacts and forced to quarantine for five days. The Broncos were forced to play Kendall Hinton at quarterback in the 31-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Hinton completed one pass for 13 yards for the entire game.

The Broncos also announced that Bortles will not practice with the team and remain at home in the role of emergency quarterback in the event Lock or Rypien test positive ahead of Sunday’s game against the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs. Lock is expected to start.

The team will also hold virtual meetings this week and for the foreseeable future and ordered that any independent film work be conducted virtually.

The team is also bringing in kicker Taylor Russolino to serve as emergency kicker in the event Brandon McManus is placed on reserve/COVID-19. Russolino hit 9 of 10 field goals for the St. Louis BattleHawks in the XFL early in 2020.

–Field Level Media

Nov 29, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio looks on before a game against the New Orleans Saints at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Team discipline for Broncos QBs ‘on the table,’ Fangio says

Additional discipline is possible for a trio of Denver Broncos quarterbacks who were held out of Sunday’s game because of COVID-19 concerns, head coach Vic Fangio said Monday.

All three quarterbacks — Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles — were inactive for Sunday’s 31-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints. The trio tested negative for COVID-19 on Monday, Fangio said, and will have to test negative again Tuesday before returning to team activities.

Fangio said the players still could face team discipline.

“We’re going to consider all that and, again, try to see what the league, if they have anything planned and if not, we’ll take our measures,” Fangio said.

That could include a fine or, less likely, a one-game suspension.

“Everything’s on the table, but right now I would say it’s more the fine mode,” Fangio said.

Each quarterback was deemed “high risk” after a meeting that included fellow quarterback Jeff Driskel, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. None of the quarterbacks wore masks during the meeting.

The Broncos were forced to turn to practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton to play quarterback against the Saints. Hinton, who played quarterback for three seasons at Wake Forest before changing positions, finished 1 of 9 for 13 yards and two interceptions.

Fangio was asked whether the team might quarantine one if its quarterbacks to avoid another situation like Sunday’s. He said the team would consider that option going forward.

“But I think if we just follow the protocols, we’ll be fine,” he added.

–Field Level Media

Nov 22, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) scrambles with the ball against the Miami Dolphins in the fourth quarter at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos QB Lock apologizes for not wearing mask

Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock took to Twitter on Sunday to apologize after confirming reports that he did not wear a mask inside the team’s facility during the week.

Lock, along with fellow quarterbacks Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were not eligible to play in Sunday’s game in Denver against the New Orleans Saints after being labeled as high-risk close contacts.

Quarterback Jeff Driskel tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.

“In a controlled and socially distanced area, we let our masking slip for a limited amount of time,” Lock said on twitter.

“An honest mistake, but one I will own. I sincerely apologize and I fully understand why these safety precautions are so important. Doing the right thing for a majority of the time is not good enough.”

Not having Lock nor Rypien or Bortles left the Broncos with no quarterbacks against the Saints. Kendall Hinton, an undrafted rookie receiver who was previously a member of the Broncos’ practice squad, was introduced as the Broncos starting QB before Sunday’s game.

Hinton, previously a quarterback and wide receiver at Wake Forest, threw for 1,504 yards in college and completed 53 percent of his passes.

“I pray for my teammates’ healthy, safety and success today,” Lock said in his statement.

“I look forward to getting back on the field next week. Go Broncos.”

Denver asked if they could activate quality control coach Rob Calabrese to play quarterback, but the request was denied by the NFL.

— Field Level Media

Nov 22, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) in the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Broncos QBs pulled from practice amid COVID-19 concerns

Three Denver Broncos quarterbacks — Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles — were pulled off the field moments before the start of Saturday’s practice because of COVID-19 concerns, according to a report from KUSA-TV in Denver.

The move came as part of contact tracing procedures after Broncos quarterback Jeff Driskel tested positive for the virus earlier in the week. Lock, Rypien and Bortles have been taking additional tests since Thursday and have tested negative since then, the network reported.

The Broncos (4-6) are scheduled to host the New Orleans Saints (8-2) on Sunday afternoon. No changes to the game’s status have been announced.

Lock has started eight games this season, completing 55.6 percent of his passes for 1,767 yards with seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Driskel and Rypien made one start each.

Bortles is on the Broncos’ practice squad. He has thrown for 103 touchdowns and 75 interceptions in six NFL seasons.

–Field Level Media