Denver Broncos | News

Jeff Driskel or Brett Rypien to start vs. Jets, both could see playing time

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As the Broncos prepare for Week 4, they have yet to announce a starting quarterback for Thursday's game against the Jets.

Head Coach Vic Fangio said either Jeff Driskel or Brett Rypien will be the team's starter, and the the team expects to decide who will lead the offense out at MetLife Stadium by Tuesday.

"We've been talking about it today," Fangio said Monday. "We'll have a decision by tomorrow which way we're going to go."

Fangio said it would be "unrealistic" for Blake Bortles to play for the team on a short week, as he had just a couple of days of practice with the team last week.

The team will instead rely on Driskel or Rypien — or a combination of both players.

"Yeah, that's always available," Fangio said of both players taking snaps Thursday. "Pulling quarterbacks in and out unless you have a good reason to isn't something you want to do a whole lot of. But yes, in this situation, it could be a mix of the guys."

Fangio said the team doesn't want to "make a hasty decision" about the position and that the Broncos will make a decision that gives them the best chance to win against the Jets.

On Sunday against the Buccaneers, Driskel completed 17-of-30 passes for 176 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a 71.0 passer rating. He was sacked five times. Rypien, who entered the game for the Broncos' final offensive possession, completed 8-of-9 passes for 53 yards, an interception and a 51.6 quarterback rating. He was sacked once on his lone drive, which was the first regular-season action of his young career.

The Broncos will again rely on a reserve quarterback as Drew Lock continues to recover from a right shoulder injury that he suffered against the Steelers in Week 2.


Fangio announced Monday that Jurrell Casey would miss the remainder of the 2020 season with a bicep tear, but the Broncos could get reinforcements at the running back position on Thursday.

Phillip Lindsay "might be able to play" on Thursday against the Jets, according to Fangio. The third-year running back is "trending in the right direction" after suffering a toe injury in Week 1 against the Titans.

"We'll decide that as we go through the week," Fangio said. "If he does play, yeah, he would be on a play count. He can't get it a bunch of times, but he can play in there sparingly if he's able to go."

Linebacker Austin Calitro, meanwhile, will miss Thursday's game with a hamstring injury that he suffered during a special teams play against Tampa Bay.


Shelby Harris was one of Denver's bright spots Sunday as he posted a pair of sacks, two tackles for loss, four quarterback hits and a pass deflection. In Week 2, he also added a forced fumble.

With several defensive linemen now out for the foreseeable future, Harris could be in position to challenge his career high six sacks from a season ago.

"I think he's in the best condition he's been in, definitely in the short time I've been here," Fangio said. "Admittedly he says he is in the last couple of years. His weight is down a little bit, which is allowing him to move better [and] utilize his quickness and strength more times and more often than he was able to in the past, because he's not as fatigued. I think it's a tribute to all the hard work he did in the offseason, and he's been able to sustain [it] during the season."


Free-agent addition Nick Vannett was a surprise inactive Sunday after appearing in the Broncos' first two games of the season. Fangio said Monday that he made the move to help the Broncos' depth at other positions.

"Vannett was deactivated yesterday strictly because of our numbers at other positions and special teams contributions," Fangio said. "It wasn't a move I was happy to make. I explained it to Nick and he understood, and hopefully it's not something we have to do a lot."

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