Battered Broncos hit again
QB Lock to miss 3-5 weeks; WR Sutton lost for season
ENGLEWOOD — After two narrow losses to open the season, the Broncos’ prospects to return to the playoffs this year got significantly more bleak Monday.
Quarterback Drew Lock, who was hurt in the first quarter of Sunday’s loss in Pittsburgh, has a right shoulder injur y and will be out three-to-five weeks, coach Vic Fangio said. And wide receiver Cour tland Sutton, who tore his ACL late in the first half after making a tackle on an interception return, is out for the season.
Fangio said Lock’s exact timetable to return from his injury, which occurred as he was sacked by Pittsburgh linebacker Bud Dupree while attempting to scramble out of the pocket on Denver’s second series, “all depends upon the healing process.” A benchmark to get him back would be the Week 8 bye. If Lock came back after that, he’d have seven weeks to return to full strength before Denver’s Nov. 8 game in Atlanta.
“There’s nothing structurally wrong with his shoulder,” Fangio said. “He just has a bad bruise there, and when it’s your throwing shoulder, it’s going to take time to heal. (The bruise) has to calm down, and he has to get his strength back to where he can operate at
Adding to the list, Dre’mont Jones also suffered a knee injury in the loss in Pittsburgh, and Fangio said he expects the second-year defensive lineman to miss “significant time,” probably around a month. That will likely mean a trip to injured reserve for Jones.
Fellow defensive lineman Demarcus Walker, who exited Sunday with a calf injury, “is going to miss some time also.”
While the defensive line depth will now be tested, Lock’s injury means an extended opportunity for Jef f Driskel, who was 18-of34 for 256 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in relief on Sunday. Behind Driskel, second-year pro Brett Rypien (currently on the practice squad) will be the backup.
Fangio believes Lock should have “stayed with the play a little bit longer” on the sack during which he was injured.
As a rookie last year, Lock was also hurt while rolling out of the pocket when he jammed his right thumb into the turf, and sprained it, in a preseason game against San Francisco. Lock was then placed on injured reserve, and wasn’t activated until Nov. 30.
“Once you start scrambling, and any time you hit the ground, you’re always in danger of getting hurt, par ticularly at quar terback where you have the shoulder and anything to your throwing arm that can happen,” Fangio said.
Broncos quarterback Drew Lock fumbles as he’s hit by the Steelers’ Bud Dupree during the first quarter Sunday in Pittsburgh. Lock suffered a rightshoulder injury on the play and is expected to miss the next three-to-five weeks.