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Drew Lock makes his intentions to play on Sunday very clear, but his status is still up in the air

Zac Stevens Avatar
November 19, 2020

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — If it’s up to Drew Lock, he’ll be playing on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

But, it won’t all be up to the second-year quarterback if he takes the field on Sunday, a week after suffering a strained oblique and bruising around his ribs.

“I would like to be [available on Sunday],” the Broncos’ starting quarterback stated on Thursday. “I’m going to take it day-by-day with these doctors and the trainers and even the coaches. I’m going to let them make a decision on whether or not they want to play me or not. Obviously, I’ll give my opinion and it’s going to be I want to play. In the end, it’s not 100 percent up to me what happens.”

Lock took a positive step on Thursday as he returned to practice after missing Wednesday’s practice.

“I got to go out and throw the ball. That’s all I can really ask for today. I was excited and ready to be back out there and throw it. I was feeling good,” Lock said after Thursday’s practice. “I’m feeling better every day. It’s been a good process so far with the doctors and all of the trainers here.”

The “weirdest part” about Thursday’s practice for Lock was balancing showing the coaches that he’s healthy enough to play, while not pushing too hard.

“What reps you get, they are extremely important because you want to show them, ‘Yeah I’m ready to go,’ instead of them just taking your word for it,” Lock explained. “It is an interesting process because your ribs do have a lot to do with how you throw and the oblique muscles and everything.”

Since he only practiced on a limited basis, the former second-round pick split the first-team reps under center with backup quarterback Brett Rypien.

“I think he’s getting better. He did some more today,” Pat Shurmur said after practice. “But we’ll just have to see what the rest of the week brings. He’s obviously trending toward playing better than yesterday.”

If the injury does hold Lock out against the Dolphins, Rypien will get his second career start in the NFL. But since sustaining the injury, Lock has made notable progress. On Monday morning, Lock was “definitely sore.” On Thursday, however, he was fine enough to practice.

Lock’s week of rehab includes a “lot of heat, lot of ice [and] a lot of stim — ultrasound stuff,” to help the recovery process as much as possible.

“It’s just about being smart throughout the week,” Lock said about the healing process. “As a young player, I know I need a lot of reps, but at the same time, Coach [Mike] Shula and Coach Shurmur have done a good job of when I’m not taking those reps of being in there and trying to get the mental reps as best as I can and if they feel comfortable enough with that, then it’s still up to their decision.”

Lock suffered the injury at the beginning of the second quarter of Sunday’s 37-12 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, in which he threw four interceptions. The 6-foot-4 quarterback “was feeling” the injury the rest of the game but played through the pain.

“It was nothing I would be able to go home and look my dad in the eyes and say, ‘Yeah, dad, sorry I sat out the second half today because I had some bruised ribs.’ That’s not how I was raised,” Lock stated. “You’re going to be tough. You’re going to go out there and play. Until they have to drag you off the field, that’s what you’re going to do.”

The Broncos did not drag No. 3 off the field against the Raiders, but Vic Fangio made it very clear he won’t let Lock play if he’s not ready. If Drew isn’t able to play against the Dolphins, it will be the third time in his short career he’s been unavailable to play due to injury.

“It does hurt missing any time, especially from a guy that didn’t miss any in high school and college. The first couple of accidents I’ve had have been here,” Lock said. “It definitely does motivate you. I think anyone that’s hurt in this league realizes that the longer you’re not playing, the faster you get forgot about type deal.

“If you’re not able to do your job, technically you’re not helping your teammates out and that’s the worst part for me,” Lock continued. “I want to be there for them. I want to lead them. I just want to be a part of a special game on Sunday and have a good feeling in the locker room afterward — have the whole shebang. Can’t do that if you’re on the sideline.”

There’s no question Lock wants to play against Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins on Sunday. But he’ll have to convince Fangio and the rest of the Broncos staff he’s ready.


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