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Brett Rypien

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Drew Lock played much better than the numbers indicate in his first action in nearly a month.

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It's no secret Drew Lock is trending in the right direction to play on Sunday against the New England Patriots.

After his second straight full practice on Thursday, Vic Fangio added to that optimism.

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Drew Lock had a full practice workload Wednesday. He threw with zip and vigor. When viewed from a distance, he showed no signs of discomfort.

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The NFL gave the Denver Broncos 24 more hours to see if Drew Lock can be healthy enough to play in Week 5 after the league moved their game against the New England Patriots from Sunday to Monday.

The Broncos are taking that extra time and running with it.

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The sight of No. 3 slinging the ball around at practice was unquestionably a positive sign for his potential availability against the New England Patriots.

But Lock being able to throw a football without pain will only be part of the equation on whether or not the Broncos will have their starting quarterback return after suffering a badly bruised shoulder in Week 2.

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When practice opened Wednesday, camera lenses and the eyes of reporters zeroed in on Drew Lock. Meanwhile, Brett Rypien went about his work. It's all he can do.

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The Broncos did not place Drew Lock on the injured reserve in hopes he would miss fewer than three games. If he is able to play on Sunday, their gamble would pay off in a big way.

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A lot rides on Drew Lock's health moving forward. But there's a 50-50 chance the Broncos will get their starting quarterback back for their next game.

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After leading the Broncos to their first win of the season, Rypien is poised to be their quarterback at least for another game, right?

Not so fast.

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There are six 0-3 teams in the NFL entering Week 4. Two of them, the Jets and the Broncos, faceoff in a primetime matchup on Thursday night where one team will, likely, come away with their first victory of the season.

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For a third-straight week, the Broncos will have a new signal-caller under center. Here's why the Broncos are giving Brett Rypien a shot.

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Vic Fangio did not announce a starting quarterback on Monday. But he did leave the door open to a very unusual situation that could take place on Thursday night against the Jets.

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On Sunday, the Broncos started their league-high eighth quarterback since the 2016 season.

In 96 hours, they can extend their league-high to nine.

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The injury bug struck the Broncos and hasn't left.

After losing Von Miller for a majority of the year, if not the entire year, just before the start of the season, Denver lost A.J. Bouye and Phillip Lindsay for multiple weeks during Week 1's game against the Tennessee Titans.

But losing three Pro Bowl players just wasn't enough. On Sunday, Denver lost Pro Bowl receiver Courtland Sutton and Drew Lock as well as many players on the defensive side of the ball.

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As Vic Fangio put it after practice, defensive coaches and players loved the way the scrimmage went. On the flip side, offensive players and coaches did not.

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Jerry Jeudy smoked the Broncos' second-team secondary as training camp got under way.

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Jeff Driskel's mobility and arm talent ensures that the Broncos do not have to make major changes if he has to fill in for Drew Lock.

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Broncos head coach Vic Fangio

The line was 'OK' in 2019, Fangio said. That left him unsatisfied.

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