WASHINGTON -- Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock apologized Sunday for a "masking slip" that left his NFL team with no signal callers in a 31-3 loss to New Orleans.
Practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton was pressed into duty as an emergency quarterback, completing only 1-of-9 passes for 13 yards with two interceptions and a sack for the Saints defensive unit in the rout.
New Orleans improved to 8-2 while the Broncos slid to 4-7, mustering only 112 total yards against the Saints as Covid-19 created a competitive imbalance issue too huge to overcome.
Denver quarterback Jeff Driskel tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday and the Broncos' three other quarterbacks -- Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles -- were ruled out Saturday as "high risk" close contacts with Driskel.
Lock admitted the passers, who have not shown Covid-19 symptoms, did not follow proper facemask protocol while in a meeting together.
"Our entire team has taken the Covid-19 pandemic seriously, following all the rules to keep each other safe," Lock tweeted. "We're tested daily, get quick results, and are confident our facility is a safe environment for everyone.
"In a controlled and socially distanced area, we let our masking slip for a limited amount of time. An honest mistake, but one I will own.
"I sincerely apologize and I fully understand why these safety precautions are so important. Doing the right thing for a majority of the time is not good enough.
"I pray for my teammates' health, safety and success today. I look forward to getting back on the field next week. Go Broncos."
Denver's hopes for a winning season are bleak with a visit to reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City next week, and a finish to the season against Carolina, Buffalo, the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas.
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