The Denver Broncos could call on Kendall Hinton to play QB on Sunday.
The NFL seems to be attempting to make an example of the Denver Broncos in what is one of the most bizarre stories in the entire NFL for the entire 2020 season.
Players being ruled ineligible has become almost a weekly occurrence around the league, but the NFL has been moving around games where teams’ starting quarterbacks are affected. The Denver Broncos experienced this firsthand when they were slated to play Jarrett Stidham and the New England Patriots before the league moved the game four times.
Instead of facing off against Stidham, the Broncos got Cam Newton, who came off the COVID-Reserve list just in time to play the game.
Even during this same exact week, the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers game has been rescheduled twice with Lamar Jackson landing on the COVID-Reserve list.
The Denver Broncos, though? Well, the NFL has just decided that none of the Broncos’ four quarterbacks will be eligible to play on Sunday afternoon against the New Orleans Saints, and they’re not moving the game as of right now.
This is unbelievable, even though the Broncos are hardly the first team to have to make adjustments. The NFL had recently sent out memos to teams about being stricter with proper protocols, and apparently they are dissatisfied with the way the Broncos were handling things.
Adam Schefter has been reporting on the story all Saturday evening, and part of his many reports is that the Broncos will not be forfeiting the game. NFL teams that forfeit not only lose the game, but both teams lose their game checks.
The NFL’s policies this year are understandably fluid, but the process by which they go about adjusting the schedule is confusing to a mind-boggling degree.
Why would the league delay or reschedule other games but not the Broncos’ game against the Saints? The league took away Denver’s bye week this year to cater to the New England Patriots. It feels like they are making an example of the Broncos for breaking the mask protocol.
While the mask protocol is serious and should be taken seriously, there is no way the league should allow a game to be played in which a team doesn’t have a quarterback.
Imagine a baseball team having to play a series with only position players as pitchers.
If the Broncos game remains on as scheduled on Sunday, there is a better than good chance that former Wade Forest quarterback and wide receiver Kendall Hinton will take the majority of snaps for Denver at QB.
Hinton last played quarterback at Wake Forest in 2018. He was the full-time starter for the Demon Deacons as a freshman and started a number of games in the next couple of seasons before moving to wide receiver as a senior.
His work at receiver is what got him a gig in Denver with the Broncos after the 2020 NFL Draft and what currently has him a gig on the practice squad.
Although Hinton’s passing skills are not why he’s in the NFL, he has the most substantial experience of anyone on the Broncos’ roster playing the position, and if the team has to move forward with him at QB, they might run it 50-60 times against the Saints if they have to.
The Broncos won a game in Kansas City in 2011 completing just two passes with Tim Tebow at quarterback, but that was when they were preparing to play with that kind of run-heavy offensive attack.
Where Hinton is an intriguing option is as a runner. Obviously he’s not trying to be an NFL quarterback, but he can throw it. He is going to have to prove that he knows the offense well enough to get the ball into the hands of Denver’s running backs, but he might have to throw a handful of passes as well.
The Broncos could also use a package of plays for running back Royce Freeman, who is routinely the team’s “emergency” quarterback on gamedays.
The Denver Broncos have yet another tough matchup against the top-seeded New Orleans Saints of the NFC South. Here are 4 bold predictions for this game.
This will be one of the most fascinating games of the NFL week 12 slate, if indeed it goes on as planned.