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Lock questionable for next practice, game with side injury

Broncos QB Drew Lock appeared to suffer the injury late in first half in game against Raiders. Shelby Harris will also miss third straight game because of COVID-19.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Drew Lock is questionable for practice this week — and for the game Sunday against the Miami Dolphins — after the discomfort he experienced in the oblique muscle area during the game Sunday intensified Monday, the day after the game.

“His availability for practice Wednesday right now is questionable,’’ Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said in his Zoom media conference Monday. “Like with many injuries the next day is worse than the injury during the competition. It’s pretty sore today with the ribs and we’ll see where he’s at on Wednesday.”

Lock began wincing in pain late in the first half, first after a quarterback sneak for a first down with 1:14 left, and then after he took a hard hit from the Raiders' Clelin Ferrell, who was flagged for roughing the passer with 30 seconds left till intermission. While it was announced as a ribs issue, a source told 9NEWS it was a muscle injury in the oblique or abdomen area. Lock underwent tests Monday. He did not play well in the Broncos’ 37-12 loss at Las Vegas, throwing four interceptions, although Fangio said he remains committed to playing Lock.

Credit: AP
Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) looks to pass against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

“I think he’s at the point where he’s watched a lot,’’ Fangio said. “Last year he’s out for 10 weeks, 11 weeks (with thumb injury) and did a good bit of watching then. Got to finish the season last year, missed three games this year (with shoulder injury). Got to do a lot of watching then. I think he’s at the point where he’s got to play to get through this part that the entire team is going through not just offense for him to improve and for him to grow.’

RELATED: Report: Drew Brees has multiple broken ribs, collapsed lung

Lock may sit again Sunday against the Dolphins, though, if his side muscle area doesn’t improve. The team conducted more tests Monday to rule out other issues like the ribs.

“There’s a chance of that with his injury the way it is,’’ Fangio said when asked directly if Lock could miss the game. “It’s an injury that I think is day to day where a lot of improvements can be made and we’ll see how he does with it.”

If Lock can’t play, the Broncos would likely start Brett Rypien, who led Denver to its first win of the season, a 37-28 victory against the still-winless Jets in week 4. The Broncos also have two veteran backups in Jeff Driskel and Blake Bortles, who is on their practice squad.

The Broncos are 3-6. The resurgent Dolphins are 6-3 after winning five in a row.

Fangio also said defensive lineman Shelby Harris would miss his third consecutive game this Sunday because of COVID-19. He missed the first game because of close contact with his wife and kids who had tested positive, and then Harris tested positive himself early last week.

“Shelby probably won’t be able to play this week just because when you test positive there’s X amount of days to be out of action starting from the positive test,’’ Fangio said. “I don’t think he’ll be able to make it this week as it looks right now.”

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