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Broncos lose starting center Cushenberry to COVID

Second-year player had played every snap of his first 30 games.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — There has been five different starting quarterbacks, 15 different ball carriers and 20 different pass catchers.

The one constant to the Denver Broncos’ offense the past two seasons has been center Lloyd Cushenberry III. A third-round draft pick out of LSU last year, Cushenberry delivered all 1,100 snaps in 16 games as a rookie and the first 925 snaps through the first 14 games this year.

Cushenberry’s streak of 2,2025 snaps to start his career is likely to end Sunday when the Broncos play at Las Vegas as the center was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list Thursday. Cushenberry is vaccinated so there’s an outside chance he tests negative and come off the COVID list by Sunday but it’s highly unlikely.

Of the 15 Broncos players who have tested positive for the virus the past two months, only P.J. Locke and Seth Williams returned earlier than the 10-day quarantine period. Williams returned after seven days and Locke after eight.

Credit: AP
Denver Broncos offensive guard Austin Schlottmann (71) takes part in drills during the team's NFL football training camp Saturday, July 28, 2018, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said Austin Schlottmann would likely replace Cushenberry at center Sunday, although there is some chance rookie Quinn Meinerz would move from right guard to center, where he played during training camp and the preseason.

The Broncos also placed practice squad offensive tackle Drew Himmelman on the COVID list. The 15 Broncos players who have tested positive for COVID since October 24: Netane Muti, Noah Fant, Drew Lock, Justin Strnad, Michael Ojemudia, Schlottmann, Pita Taumoepenu, Garret Bolles, Brett Jones, Locke, Mike Boone, Malik Reed, Williams, Cushenberry and Himmelman. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur also missed 10 days with COVID.

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