Denver Broncos: What’s the plan with Drew Lock now?
What are the Denver Broncos going to do with Drew Lock now that Joe Flacco is likely headed for injured reserve? Let’s hear from John Elway.
Now that the Denver Broncos are expected to place veteran quarterback Joe Flacco on injured reserve, what is going to happen with Drew Lock?
There’s been a ton of frustration among Broncos Country about the delay in Lock’s return, which could be happening this week against Cleveland if the Broncos wanted it to.
But they don’t, so when will he be back?
Let’s hear from John Elway himself.
Alright, let’s dissect these comments.
Getting ready physically
Wait. What is Elway talking about? Lock says his thumb is completely healed! Who is Elway trying to fool?
I think what Elway is talking about here in terms of being ready ‘physically’ is simply taking practice reps. Even that is still a bit frustrating because Lock has been healed up for a couple of weeks, so he could have been practicing since week six.
So what’s the holdup?
Taking advantage of the three weeks?
What Elway is referring to here is the three weeks the Broncos are allowed — by NFL rules –basically a roster exemption with Lock practicing with the team.
The Broncos aren’t bringing him back to practice ahead of Cleveland and they’re not bringing him back during the bye week, either, because those would be ‘wasted’ practice weeks. The coaching staff is going to get to see Lock out for an extended period of time on the practice field and the Broncos want to wait until after the bye to do that.
Elway says the team wants to bring him back ahead of the Minnesota game after the bye.
This could mean that the Broncos would let Lock practice during weeks they play the Vikings, Bills, and Chargers, and would set him up to potentially start against the Houston Texans on December 8.
The Broncos would also have the option of skipping one or two of those practice weeks and bringing Lock back sooner depending on how Brandon Allen looks and how Lock looks in practices.
Getting up to speed mentally
This seems to be a big emphasis for Elway here, and it’s clear the Broncos don’t want to put Lock out there and force him to be thinking through too much without just doing what he does best — playing the game.
This is probably where the Broncos have the strongest case of holding Lock out as long as they have, but it doesn’t explain the delay in getting him back to practice with such a poor showing from Joe Flacco and now Brandon Allen and Brett Rypien up to replace him.
Lock has been doing virtual reality reps and he’s been studying. He’s been showing up to work at 6:00 every morning and staying late in the evening.
Obviously, he’s also been at the games and taking mental reps everywhere he can. The Broncos obviously want to see if Lock can put those two things — mental processing and physical readiness — together before they throw him out in regular-season games.
Right now it feels like Lock is poised for at least four games before the end of the 2019 season. Ultimately, that’s not terrible, but with eight games remaining on the schedule, we’d obviously like to see more, especially with Flacco down for the count.
Hopefully the Broncos will call Lock’s number sooner than it seems, but the safe bet right now is that he will return officially in December.