The Broncos will take on the New England at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 18 at 11 a.m. MT.
Who will line up under center for the Broncos and Patriots on Sunday? What was quite murky a week ago has become more clear after the game was postponed from Week 5 to Week 6. Drew Lock practiced in full this week as his injured throwing shoulder healed, but Head Coach Vic Fangio said Friday they were still evaluating his recovery and listed him as questionable for the game. Meanwhile, Cam Newton was taken off New England's Reserve/COVID-19 list and seems poised to start against the Broncos. But if he and Lock are not available, the Broncos and Patriots will once again turn to their reserves. For Denver, that would be Brett Rypien, who led the team to a win in his first start with two touchdown passes. For New England, that could be veteran Brian Hoyer or second-year player Jarrett Stidham.
If Newton does play, he'll lead a New England offense that looks quite different from the one Tom Brady helmed. Newton has been an efficient passer, completing 68.1 percent of his passing attempts, and he also leads the league's second-ranked rushing attack in carries. This has allowed the Patriots to become one of the NFL's best units in moving the chains consistently (second-most first downs per game in the league) while gobbling up time of possession (fifth). Bradley Chubb and Denver's defense must continue to present a stout front against the run, and they cannot allow Newton to scramble for chunk plays with his feet when plays break down.
Defensively, the Patriots are still among the league's best in several categories. They rank among the NFL's top 12 in yards allowed per game (11th), total takeaways, first downs allowed per game (ninth), third-down- and fourth-down-conversion percentage (sixth and first) and points allowed (12th). Even if they're without 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore, New England has great talent at every level of their defense, including Jason and Devin McCourty, Chase Winovich and Ja'Whaun Bentley.
On Friday, the Broncos ruled out OLB Jeremiah Attaochu (quadricep) and WR KJ Hamler (hamstring) for Sunday's game, and then they announced on Saturday that RB Melvin Gordon III (illness) and TE Noah Fant (ankle) were out, as well. As was mentioned earlier, Lock is listed as questionable; so is NT Mike Purcell (knee), who practiced in a limited capacity in each of the team's three practices this week.
The Patriots, who were able only to practice once this week due to COVID-19 precautions, listed four players on their injury report as questionable for the game: DL Adam Butler (shoulder), WR Julian Edelman (knee), G Shaq Mason (calf) and T Isaiah Wynn (calf). On Saturday, the team also announced it had placed Mason, RB Sony Michel (who was already on IR) and DE Derek Rivers on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
WATCH ON TV: CBS
Play-by-Play: Kevin Harlan
Analyst: Trent Green
Sideline: Melanie Collins
WATCH ON MOBILE
In-market fans can stream the game on DenverBroncos.com or in the Broncos 365 app via mobile web on iOS on iPhones and iPads and through the Yahoo Sports app. Streaming is available on Android devices on the Yahoo Sports app only.
LOCAL ENGLISH RADIO (KOA - 850 AM/94.1 FM & The Fox - 103.5 FM)
Play-by-Play: Dave Logan
Analyst: Rick Lewis
Sideline: Susie Wargin
SPANISH RADIO (KNRV - 1150 AM)
Play-by-Play: Carlos Valdez
Analyst: Salvador Hernandez
SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS
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