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A lifelong starter, Drew Lock has struggled in role as backup QB

Fangio: "He’s got to learn to do better at that."

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — There is an art to coming off the bench and playing quarterback cold in a fast-paced NFL game.

Drew Lock surely understands that now, although he obviously needs more time to figure it out.

A starter in high school, college and through his first 18 games in the NFL, Lock has struggled in his two games in relief of Teddy Bridgewater this year.

"It’s different for a guy who’s never come off the bench," Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said Monday in his day-after-game press conference. "In this case, we’re probably not giving him enough reps during the week. Not to make an excuse for him, but he’s got to learn to do better at that. Maybe some of that is we need to have a better list of what he feels comfortable operating with, running, and calling.

"Hopefully he’s learned from these two times. Hopefully there won’t be another time through an injury, and he’ll do better the next time."

Each time Lock has played this year, he went after the starter Teddy Bridgewater was injured. Bridgewater suffered a concussion late in the first half against the Baltimore Ravens in game 4 and didn’t return. Bridgewater suffered a contusion his right shin late in the first quarter Sunday against the Chargers but returned in the second half.

Lock fumbled the ball off a sack on his second play Sunday, although receiver Tim Patrick made a clutch, hustling recovery for a first down. Later, Lock threw a costly interceptions near the end of the first half that led to a Chargers’ touchdown.

In all, Lock has completed 16 of 28 for 139 yards with no touchdowns, two picks and a 40.6 passer rating in his two games as a reserve. He’s been no Kent Nix. But the more the more backup experience he receives, the more acclimated to the role Lock should become. Fangio said he was sticking with Lock as his No. 2 quarterback. Brett Rypien is the team’s No. 3 QB.

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Credit: AP
Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) throws against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

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