Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Drew Lock has a chance suit up for a regular-season game against the Buffalo Bills, even if it's a small one.
The Denver Broncos are definitely still unsettled at the quarterback despite the fact that the offense has taken a dramatic turn in the right direction under the charge of Brandon Allen.
To illustrate the difference with Allen at quarterback versus with Joe Flacco at the helm, the Broncos have scored 47 points in their last two games, and in Flacco's final three starts, they scored a total of 35.
The two-game sample size is certainly not large enough to make any blanket declarations, but it's not incorrect to say at this point that Joe Flacco was a major reason why the Broncos were struggling on offense, because the Broncos put up 23 points against the Vikings while Allen completed under 47 percent of his pass attempts.
Although Allen has the offense looking much more competent than Flacco did, the Broncos have to be getting Drew Lock on the fast track to playing time considering Allen has not done anything in two games to lead us all to believe that he is the future of the franchise.
Head coach Vic Fangio stated at his Monday press conference that Lock suiting up this weekend as Brandon Allen's backup is unlikely, but a possibility.
Lock was one of two second-round picks for the Broncos this year, and anyone picked that high in the draft needs to be playing sooner rather than later. In Lock's case, the Broncos don't have the benefit of the fifth-year option, and they may be in line to select a top quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft, so getting a sample size on Lock is of paramount importance at this point.
At least, in my eyes it is.
If the Broncos are going to trot out a quarterback who is allowed to sling the ball at the end of a half up 20 points and take his lumps, completing 47 percent of his passes in a losing effort, I would much rather it be the guy who was taken in the second round who is healthy versus the guy who was claimed off of waivers when roster cuts were turned in back in September.
The Broncos have a lot invested in Drew Lock. They don't have much invested in Brandon Allen.
While it's fine to be patient and make sure Lock is as 'ready' as he can be, it's not okay to run on the treadmill of BandAid quarterbacks with no goal in sight.
Allen has put together a strong enough sample at this point that he could probably be brought back in the offseason as a backup quarterback. He's made some plays, but he cited himself that he needs to be better at making the routine throws.
I'm sure that will come in time, but if we're going to watch a quarterback struggle to make the routine throws and need to make improvements on that, I would much rather see Lock out there earning his lumps.
Lock is the most talented quarterback on the Broncos' roster. He's now fully healthy. If Brandon Allen only needed one week of emergency prep to get ready for the Cleveland Browns as the starter, Lock should not be much different.
The Broncos need to continually get Lock involved in the game-planning, keep giving him reps with the first-team offense, and get him prepared to play as soon as this weekend against the Buffalo Bills.
If Lock's not going to play this week against the Bills, there's no good reason why he shouldn't be the starting quarterback the following week at home against the Los Angeles Chargers.
The clock is running out on the 2019 season, as crazy as that is to even say at this point. There are only six games left, and every game that goes by without Drew Lock playing is a wasted opportunity for the Broncos.
They obviously know his readiness as well as anyone, but Lock is a talented player who can execute the same concepts Allen is executing right now.
Give the talented rookie QB the freedom to fail, and at the same time, give him the freedom to show he can help elevate the offense.