ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Broncos quarterback Drew Lock didn’t practice Wednesday because of a strained oblique muscle in his rib-cage area.
Lock did participate in the team's walkthrough prior to practice, then observed practice while wearing his helmet, an indication he was paying attention to the play calls relayed from offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur to backup quarterback Brett Rypien. During one drill, Lock took snaps from equipment manager Mike “Hands” Harrington and feigned a drop back and throw without letting the ball go from his hand.
“He’s made good progress since Monday morning until Wednesday morning,'' said Broncos head coach Vic Fangio. "We’ll see how much he continues to make the progress throughout the week and see where he goes.”
There is a chance Lock practices Thursday, if on a limited basis before his sore side is more seriously tested Friday. Lock came up wincing following a third-and-1 quarterback sneak late in the first half of the Broncos’ 37-12 loss Sunday at Las Vegas, a game in which he threw four interceptions.
There is hope Lock can regroup and play Sunday against the Miami Dolphins at Empower Field at Mile High, although it’s too early to tell how he will respond from the discomfort in his side. Despite the increased COVID restrictions Governor Polis and Mayor Hancock have imposed throughout the state of Colorado and city of Denver, the Broncos are cleared to host up to 5,700 fans for their game Sunday.
Rypien started one game earlier this year when Lock was out with a strained right throwing shoulder, and threw two touchdowns in a 37-28 win at the New York Jets. Rypien managed to lead his team to 37 points even though he also threw three interceptions. For the season, Rypien is 27 of 40 (67.5 percent) for 295 yards with two touchdowns against four interceptions. He is an undrafted second-year player who spent most of his rookie season on the Broncos’ practice squad.