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

Dec 29, 2019; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio in the third quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos’ Fangio defends not using TOs on Titans’ final drive

Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio defended his decision against using any of his timeouts during the latter stages of the team’s 16-14 setback versus Tennessee Titans on Monday night.

Stephen Gostkowski, who had missed all three of his previous field-goal attempts, capped a 12-play drive by drilling a 25-yard chip shot with 17 seconds to play in the fourth quarter. Prior to that, Tennessee entered the red zone on a 13-yard run by Derrick Henry with 1:28 left to play, only to see Denver watch as the clock ticked down before Ryan Tannehill snapped the ball.

Fangio then elected to keep the timeouts in his pocket as opposed to icing an already-cold kicker.

“It was two-fold,” Fangio said. “One, their field goal kicker obviously been having his problems so I didn’t want to extend the drive where they could get closer. No. 2, we would have used a timeout, but we got the running back out of bounds. We would have used a second timeout, but they threw an incompletion which would have given us one when we got the ball back so that was part of the thinking there.”

The Broncos (0-1) will look to rebound on Sunday (1 p.m. ET) when they visit the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0).

–Field Level Media

Dec 22, 2019; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) on the bench in the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos’ Fangio not counting out Miller for season – yet

The devastating ankle injury sustained by Denver Broncos star pass rusher Von Miller leaves little room for optimism, however coach Vic Fangio said the team isn’t ready to count him out for the season.

“There’s a chance (that he misses the 2020 season). It’s too early to say for sure. He’s definitely out for a while,” Fangio said Wednesday.

Miller is seeking a second opinion from noted foot/ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson on Thursday in Green Bay, Wis. Miller likely will need surgery, which Fangio said would happen “sooner rather than later” should the second opinion agree with the initial diagnosis.

“It was a normal play,” Fangio said of when Miller was injured during Tuesday’s practice. “He just rushed around the edge and never hit the ground and never looked bad. If you saw the video, you’d think nothing happened, but it did.”

Broncos quarterback Drew Lock said the team was devastated by Miller’s injury.

“Without a doubt, it’s a punch in the gut for everybody just knowing how good of a teammate he is and how good of a leader he is for this team,” Lock said. “Personally, for him, I talked to him a lot in the offseason. He was gunning, he was ready to go. He was extremely excited. It was a new focus from Von.

“I think when you almost hit double digits (in seasons), it becomes real life for you, and he was excited. It hurts our team and our spirits with just how much we cared for the guy. Life goes on. He’s going to work to get back on the field as fast as possible and we have to work to win games.”

Miller, 31, has a base salary of $17.5 million this season, the fifth of a six-year, $114 million deal he signed in July of 2016.

The eight-time Pro Bowler and former Super Bowl MVP has a franchise-record 106 sacks for the Broncos in nine seasons since being the No. 2 overall choice of the 2011 NFL Draft. Miller also has 490 tackles, 26 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries and two interceptions.

Miller has two career touchdowns — one on an interception and one on a fumble.

Last season, Miller had eight sacks. That total was the second lowest of his career. His high was 18.5 in 2012.

The Broncos open the season on Monday night against the visiting Tennessee Titans.

–Field Level Media