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Broncos to place QB Drew Lock on IR, sign backup quarterback

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos will place rookie quarterback Drew Lock on injured reserve, President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway announced Saturday.

Lock suffered a thumb injury on his throwing hand against the 49ers on Aug. 19.

"[We] needed the [roster] spot," Elway said. "With Drew being out six to eight weeks, [we] figured the best thing for us as a team was to use that spot."

Elway said the Broncos are "exploring all options" as they look to sign a quarterback to back up Joe Flacco.

"It is important to have that guy have at least a feel of the offense," Elway said.

Elway said running back Theo Riddick and tight end Jake Butt will also likely be placed on IR. The Broncos can designate two players on injured reserve to return to the active roster after eight weeks.

The Broncos have not yet determined whether Lock will be one of those two players. Regardless of their decision, Elway expects Lock to continue to make strides during his rookie season.

"My discussion with him today [was] it's not a year off for him," Elway said. "He's going to be able to do everything other than be on the football field. And then he'll be able to work on his own and do some different things too. [I] expect him to continue to work hard and get a good feel with everything and keep learning with the offense, understand what he's doing there and be right in the middle of everything."

Head Coach Vic Fangio said he's seen enough from the rookie quarterback to suggest Lock can progress even without participating in practice.

"Well, I think he had enough action in practice and the [three] games that he played in … that he got his feet wet a lot in this offense," Fangio said. "Got a ton of reps from the spring through training camp through the [three] games he played in. I think he knows what he needs to do to improve on the areas that he needs to work on. It will be tough for him to do that while he can't go out and practice obviously with his thumb in a cast. I think he and the guys around him will do a good job maximizing [improvement] any way we can."

Fullback Andy Janovich (pectoral) and linebacker Todd Davis (calf) are two injured players who are not expected to go on injured reserve.

Elway said he expects Janovich is about two to three weeks away from returning.

Davis, meanwhile, is expected to be evaluated on a week-to-week basis.

"Well, we'll take it a week at a time," Elway said. "… The sooner he gets better, the better off we're going to be. We'd like to have him yesterday, but we'll wait and see."

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