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Lock says he made 'honest mistake' in letting mask slip for 'limited amount of time'

The Broncos' starting QB issued an apology after the league blocked him and two backups for COVID-19 tracing.
Credit: AP
Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) warms up before the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Banned by the NFL from playing Sunday against the New Orleans Saints because of COVID-19 close contact concerns, Broncos starting quarterback Drew Lock has issued a statement on Twitter where he took the high road.

Lock admitted he made "an honest mistake" by letting his mask slip "for a limited time." Lock, and backup quarterbacks Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were prevented from playing Sunday because they became what the league determined to be "high-risk close contacts" during a Wednesday film session with another backup quarterback Jeff Driskel, who learned he had tested positive the next day.

Rypien, Lock and Bortles have taken two COVID-19 tests a day since Thursday and have come back negative. They also are experiencing no symptoms. Yet, the league mandates a five-day quarantine as a "high-risk close contact." If Lock, Rypien and Bortles continue to test negative they can return in time for the Broncos' practice Wednesday in preparation for their game next Sunday at Kansas City. 

With all the Broncos' quarterbacks unable to play, Denver shifted practice squad receiver Kendall Hinton to starting quarterback for the game Sunday against the heavily-favored Saints at Empower Field at Mile High.

Lock's statement: 

As a proud member of the Denver Broncos, I can attest that our entire team has taken the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, following all the rules to keep each other safe. We're tested daily, get quick results, and are confident our facility is a safe environment for everyone.

In a controlled and socially distanced area, we let our masking slip for a limited amount of time. An honest mistake, but one I will own.

I sincerely apologize and I fully understand why these safety precautions are so important. Doing the right thing for a majority of the time is not good enough.

I pray for my teammates' health, safety and success today. I look forward to getting back on the field next week. Go Broncos

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