KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes is putting together one of the best seasons of any quarterback in NFL history. The Broncos? Well, they’re just happy to HAVE a quarterback. Drew Lock will be back under center when Denver visits Kansas City in the latest edition of their long-simmering AFC West rivalry Sunday night.
Lock was deemed a high-risk close contact of infected quarterback Jeff Driskel — along with the rest of the Broncos’ quarterbacks — and left his team without a true QB to face New Orleans last week. The Broncos turned to a practice squad wide receiver to take most of the snaps in a 31-3 rout.
When asked about Kansas City’s efforts to avoid a similar situation during the pandemic, Mahomes said the Chiefs follow strict rules.
“We’re actually in a different room than we have been in years past, a much bigger room. It’s kind of where they used to have staff meetings at and so we’re spread out and there’s only a certain number of guys that can be in that room together so that we have the proper amount of distance between each other,” said Mahomes.
“Whenever Coach (Andy) Reid or Coach (Eric) Bieniemy comes in there for some of our meetings, we’ll send people out and they’ll virtually meet with us and they’ll still be a part of the virtual part of the experience, but it won’t be where it’s too congested in the room.”
Preventing an entire position group from getting sidelined by COVID-19 during the pandemic is a challenge for professional and college teams. As Denver’s experience last week showed there are few options when contact tracing keeps all of a team’s quarterbacks out of a game.
“I might be calling you, you know, take charge,” joked Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid when asked by a reporter about emergency quarterback protocols.
“We’ve got guys that we work in as the third quarterback on gameday. I’m not going to put that out there, but we have a couple guys that we work every week.”
For his part, Broncos QB and former Missouri Tiger Drew Lock said the Denver quarterbacks have renewed their vigilance against the virus since last week.
“I’ll own up to this mistake,” said Lock. “We got too lackadaisical with this and hurt this program.”
“We needed to be perfect and we weren’t perfect and we’ve got to be better than that.”
“I feel like the best thing for me to do is come out and perform today at practice,” added Lock. “To me and this team we’re ready to move on from it. We’re ready to get to Kansas City.”
Lock and the Broncos face the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday night on KOMU 8 at 7:20 pm.
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