Last year, the Broncos made headlines when four of their quarterbacks were ruled ineligible for a matchup against the Saints due to one testing positive for COVID-19 and the other three being in close contact with him without their masks. In an effort to fool the system, the four quarterbacks removed their contact tracing devices and placed them in four different corners of a meeting room before sitting together to watch film, according to the Los Angeles Times's Sam Farmer.
The circumstances of their close contact were previously unknown and ultimately had serious repercussions. Quarterback Jeff Driskel tested positive for COVID-19 and as a result, then-starter Drew Lock, backup Brett Rypien and practice squad passer Blake Bortles were also ruled out due to being in close contact with Driskel without a mask.
The Broncos were forced to have practice-squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton play the majority of the time as the quarterback while occasionally having running backs Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman getting snaps in the wild cat. The Saints would go on to win 31–3. Hinton finished 1-for-9 with 13 passing yards and two interceptions.
Before the game, Broncos president John Elway pleaded with commissioner Roger Goodell to postpone the Sunday matchup until Tuesday when the quarterbacks would be available again. Goodell denied the request when it was discovered through surveillance footage at the Broncos facility that the quarterbacks attempted to fool the system, per the report.
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