The Broncos elevated rookie Kendall Hinton from the practice squad on Sunday morning, allowing the quarterback turned wide receiver to play QB for Denver against the New Orleans Saints.
With four quarterbacks, including starter Drew Lock, on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the Broncos will start Hinton, multiple media outlets reported.
Hinton completed 133 of 253 passes for 1,504 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions over 22 games at Wake Forest before moving to wide receiver for his senior season in 2019.
He wasn’t their first choice, apparently. ESPN reported Sunday that NFL denied the Broncos’ request to put offensive quality control coach Rob Calabrese on the active roster to play quarterback. The Broncos argued Calabrese had the greatest knowledge of the offense.
Calabrese last played quarterback at UCF in 2012.
The network also reported the NFL rejected Denver’s plea to move the game to later in the week to allow time for at least one of the QBs to come off the reserve/COVID-19 list. Being placed on the list means a player either has tested positive for the virus or was in close contact with someone who had.
Quarterback Jeff Driskel, who reportedly tested positive before being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday, was in the presence of Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles when they weren’t wearing masks as required, ESPN said.
The Broncos could be penalized with a fine, loss of a draft pick or both for failing to comply with the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols.
Denver (4-6) is scheduled to host the Saints (8-2) at 4:05 p.m. ET.