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Broncos’ Vic Fangio: Brett Rypien to start against Patriots if Drew Lock isn’t ready

UPDATED: Sat., Oct. 3, 2020

New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (95) grabs the face mask of Denver Broncos quarterback Brett Rypien (4) during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. Williams was called for a penalty.  (Associated Press)
New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (95) grabs the face mask of Denver Broncos quarterback Brett Rypien (4) during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. Williams was called for a penalty. (Associated Press)
By Arnie Stapleton Associated Press

Drew Lock is 50-50 for the Denver Broncos’ game at New England next weekend but if his right shoulder is still sore, fellow second-year pro Brett Rypien will get his second straight start.

Coach Vic Fangio said he’ll see how Lock does when the team returns to practice Tuesday. Lock hasn’t thrown a football since getting hurt at Pittsburgh on Sept. 20.

“I just need to see a healthy quarterback,” Fangio said. “I’m not going to put him out there unless he’s healthy, he can throw without hesitation, without altering his delivery and he’s very confident – and healthy – that he can go out there and play normal.”

Rypien, the Shadle Park High School graduate, led the Broncos (1-3) to a 38-27 win over the winless New York Jets on Thursday night when he became the first QB since Jim Druckenmiller in 1997 to win his first NFL start despite throwing three interceptions.

Lock, a second-round draft pick in 2019, injured his throwing shoulder on a sack at Pittsburgh in Week 2 and was replaced by Jeff Driskel, who lost his start against Tampa Bay last week.

Rypien, an undrafted QB out of Boise State and the nephew of former Super Bowl winner Mark Rypien, threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns. Rypien threw for 13,578 yards and 90 TDs in his BSU career.

“Overall, very pleased with his play, not pleased with three interceptions, obviously,” Fangio said. “But if he has to play this coming week in New England, I think he’ll be even better for it.”

Fangio had no updates on tight end Noah Fant (ankle) and rookie receiver KJ Hamler (hamstring) other than to say, “it’s iffy whether they’ll be ready to play” next weekend at New England.

Fangio said Hamler’s injury is to the same hamstring the speedster hurt in training camp “but it’s in a different place. It’s a totally new injury.”

Fangio said he expects running back Phillip Lindsay (turf toe) to play against the Patriots.

“He could have played last night. He was ready to play mentally and physically, but I didn’t feel comfortable playing him without any practice,” Fangio said.

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