Aug 14, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Jeff Driskel (6) rushes with the football during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Texans sign K Joey Slye, elevate QB Jeff Driskel

The Houston Texans signed kicker Joey Slye from their practice squad and officially elevated quarterback Jeff Driskel ahead of their Thursday night game vs. the Carolina Panthers.

The team also elevated wide receiver Chris Moore.

Rookie third-round pick Davis Mills will make his first career start in place of the injured Tyrod Taylor, who was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury suffered in a Week 2 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Driskel, 28, is 1-8 in nine career starts with the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos over three NFL seasons. He will be the backup to Mills when the Texans (1-1) host the Panthers (2-0).

Slye has made three of four field goals and converted all seven extra points in two games. He was released by the Panthers late last month. The Texans used up his two elevations from the practice squad, necessitating the signing.

Moore has 47 career catches for 511 yards and four touchdowns in five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.

–Field Level Media

Aug 21, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Jeff Driskel (6) throws a pass before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Texans promote QB Jeff Driskel from practice squad

The Houston Texans added some quarterback depth by calling up veteran Jeff Driskel from the practice squad on Wednesday.

Driskel, 28, is 1-8 in nine career starts with the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos over three NFL seasons. He will be the backup Thursday night when the Texans (1-1) host the Carolina Panthers (2-0).

Rookie third-round pick Davis Mills will make his first career start in place of the injured Tyrod Taylor, who was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury suffered in a Week 2 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Incumbent quarterback Deshaun Watson will remain sidelined due to off-the-field issues that came to light in the offseason.

–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

Reports: Texans agree to deal with QB Jeff Driskel

Continuing to stockpile quarterbacks in the wake of ongoing lawsuits against Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, Houston agreed to sign journeyman Jeff Driskel, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

Several outlets termed the contract a one-year deal worth up to $2.5 million, with ESPN reporting the agreement including a $250,000 signing bonus and $1 million base salary with $500,000 guaranteed.

The 28-year-old Driskel, who was released by the Denver Broncos earlier this month, appeared in three games (one start) with Denver last season when starter Drew Lock was injured. Driskel completed 54.7 percent of his passes for 432 yards with three touchdowns against two interceptions.

Driskel has played in 15 games (1-8 as a starter in nine starts) for three different teams in three seasons. Originally a sixth-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2016 NFL Draft, he was claimed off waivers later that year after failing to make the Niners out of training camp. He finally earned his first playing time by making five starts in 2018, going 1-4 for the Bengals.

Driskel spent 2019 with the Detroit Lions and 2020 with the Broncos, with the Texans marking his fifth NFL organization.

The Texans’ offseason has been clouded by the controversy over their three-time Pro Bowl star Watson, who is facing 22 lawsuits and an internal NFL investigation into his conduct with several massage therapists. The team has already added several other quarterbacks to the roster coming off their 4-12 finish in 2020, including Tyrod Taylor via free agency, Ryan Finley through a trade with the Bengals and Davis Mills in the draft (third round).

–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 release QB Jeff Driskel, sign tight end

The Denver Broncos released backup quarterback Jeff Driskel and signed tight end Eric Saubert on Monday.

Driskel, 28, appeared in three games (one start) for the Broncos last season when starter Drew Lock was injured. Driskel completed 54.7 percent of his passes for 432 yards with three touchdowns against two interceptions. He’s played in 15 games (nine starts) for three different teams in three seasons.

Saubert is a fifth-year player who has appeared in 40 career games (five starts) during his first four seasons with Atlanta (2017-18), Chicago (2019) and Jacksonville (2020). Selected by the Falcons in the fifth round of the 2017 draft, he has recorded 10 catches for 85 yards.

Saubert saw action in eight games (four starts) with the Jaguars this past season, catching three passes for 16 yards.

–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

Sep 14, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; A Denver Broncos helmet on the ground before the game against the Tennessee Titans at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos cancel practice following positive COVID-19 tests

The Denver Broncos canceled practice after an undisclosed player and two staff members tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced Friday morning.

“Following confirmed positive COVID-19 test results from one player and two staff members, the Denver Broncos have closed UCHealth Training Center today with the team’s safety in mind,” the Broncos said in a statement.

“The Broncos will continue preparation for Sunday’s game remotely with virtual meetings and have postponed today’s practice. Working closely with medical experts and the league office, we will take all steps necessary to ensure the well-being of the players, coaches and staff.”

The Broncos placed quarterback Jeff Driskel on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday.

Coach Vic Fangio was asked if any other players will be impacted from contract tracing on Thursday.

“No, (we’ve) been working on this — ‘Greek’ (Director of Sports Medicine Steve Antonopulos) and our people here along with (NFL Chief Medical Officer) Dr. (Allen) Sills and other people in the league since about 4 a.m. this morning,” Fangio said. “They have determined that nobody else has to go on the list. They cleared us to practice.”

The Broncos (4-6) are slated to host the New Orleans Saints (8-2) on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET.

–Field Level Media

Sep 20, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree (48) sacks Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) causing a fumble during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Lock would leave the game. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos QB Lock (shoulder) won’t be put on IR

Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock will remain on the active roster, allowing for the possibility that the starter could return in less than three weeks.

Broncos coach Vic Fangio said Wednesday the team “considered putting him on IR.”

This season, players on injured reserve must miss at least three games.

Lock was diagnosed with a rotator cuff strain after he was sacked during the first half of Denver’s loss to Pittsburgh last week. The initial prognosis was that Lock would miss at least two games.

“There’s a chance he might not have to miss three games,” Fangio said. “At the same point, there’s a chance he might have to miss four or five. So rather than eliminate the possibility of him coming back if he’s healthy enough, we’ve kept him on the active roster, at this point.”

The Broncos reportedly are poised to sign Blake Bortles as backup to Jeff Driskel in Lock’s absence, once the former No. 3 overall draft pick in 2014 clears testing protocols for COVID-19.

Driskel, 27, replaced Lock against the Steelers and was sacked six times but completed 18 of 34 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. The Broncos host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3 before visiting the New York Jets and New England Patriots.

Bortles, 28, spent five seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars before backing up Jared Goff for the Los Angeles Rams in 2019. He appeared briefly in three games, attempting just two passes.

–Field Level Media