DENVER – Bronco’s safety Kareem Jackson admitted the team’s quarterbacks made a mistake by not following the league’s COVID-19 protocols with quarterback setting an example for the league’s other 31 teams most of the time.
The Broncos, with Kendall Hinton quarterback for just over half of the team’s snaps, lost 31-3 to the New Orleans Saints at Empower Field at Mile High.
“I feel like maybe [the game] Could have been moved, but at the same time the League might set an example for us in so far as it might not do the things we had to do in this particular room, this quarterback room, ”Jackson said. “Obviously the guys didn’t follow their protocols and for [the NFL] To see that, they probably felt they had to set an example, so at the end of [the] Day is what it is.
“… Of course it’s our boys’ fault that they don’t wear their masks, but at least postpone the game until the next day or whenever we get a chance to fight,” added Jackson.[It’s] obviously disappointing. I’m not sure why it wasn’t moved. I have no idea … as a competitor, [it is] definitely frustrating. ”
Hinton finished the 1-of-9 passing game for 13 yards with two interceptions when the Broncos gained a total of only 112 yards. This was the lowest performance since the team won 128 yards in a loss in Washington in 1992. Hinton played 24 of the Broncos’ 43 snaps on offense, and Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay took direct snaps the rest of the time.
Lindsay left the game in the second half with a knee injury – Bronco coach Vic Fangio said he had “pinched his knee a little” – and never returned. Freeman led the team in a rush with 50 yards for eight runs.
The Broncos, now 4-7, were in an unprecedented position after Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles, who is on the training team, were removed from Saturday’s practice and asked to isolate themselves after being “high risk.” “Contacts with quarterback Jeff Driskel, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, were classified.
The Broncos asked the NFL to reschedule the game to Monday or another day so the quarterbacks, all of whom tested negative for the past week, including Saturday’s test, could wear uniform. This request was rejected. The team then asked if two assistant coaches could be added to the squad for Sunday’s game and that request was also denied.
“I was disappointed on a couple of points: our quarterbacks put us in that position, our quarterbacks put the league in that position. We count on them to be the leaders of the team, the leaders of the offensive and the guys who made them to have.” It’s a mistake, and that’s disappointing, “said Fangio.” Obviously I didn’t sell the logs to them well enough when they are alone … There was a bug there and that’s disappointing. ”
Fangio said the quarterbacks failed to properly follow mask or distance protocols on Tuesday when they decided to come into the team’s facility and meet alone. Lock apologized earlier in the day for his “mistake” in breaking COVID-19 mask protocols.
All of this put Hinton in the most uncomfortable position.
The 23-year-old rookie was at training camp with the Broncos before being picked up when the 53-player roster entered the list in early September. With no preseason games this summer, Hinton’s first game appearance was for the Broncos against the Saints.
“When I got the call, it was pure excitement. Of course there was nerve and disbelief,” said Hinton. “… When I walked in I knew I had no idea how fast the game was. … We knew it was going to be a difficult situation for sure.”
Although the Broncos tried to put a hastily put together game plan into action with a multitude of staff groups, everything was a breeze as they didn’t get their second first goal until the first half.
They tripped seven times, scoring their only points on a 58-yard field goal from Brandon McManus with 7 minutes and 7 seconds in the third quarter.
The Broncos defense did everything they could as the repeated three-and-offs from the Denver offensive kept the ball back to the Saints. The 112 offensive yards that the Saints allowed on Sunday were the lowest total in franchise history.
Saints quarterback Taysom Hill only had 43 yards and 78 yards in play by the end of the third quarter. The Saints rushed 44 times for 229 yards, with all four touchdowns being in running games.
Coach Sean Payton and Hill both said the Saints ‘schedule changed significantly in the 48 hours leading up to the game, leading to New Orleans’ serious offense. Payton attributed to the Defense, the Run Game, and Hill all of who had delivered with the changed approach.
“We wanted to go into a game and call it very different from what we normally would, based on the opponent we played and what happened and what changed with the opponent. And I thought we did that “said Payton, who was asked if he sympathized with Fangio under these unique circumstances.
“I think it’s tough for everyone [teams in different situations]”Said Payton.” See, this is a challenging year. I felt bad for the cardboard fans. It is what it is.”
ESPN’s Mike Triplett contributed to this report.