With the uncertainty at quarterback, the Denver Broncos do not want to roll into 'Chiefs Week' having to play an undrafted rookie wide receiver again. With Jeff Driskel having tested positive for COVID-19 last Thursday, there's a chance he could return by next weekend and be cleared to play. But it's unlikely.
Meanwhile, Drew Lock, Brett Rypien, and Blake Bortles, provided none test positive for the virus on Tuesday, can return to the Broncos' practice field when the team gets back to work on Wednesday. However, with the incubation period for coronavirus being what it is, there's still a chance that one or all of three could end up testing positive on Tuesday as they were technically exposed to Driskel last week.
The Broncos aren't about to allow another quarterback apocalypse and so, despite already having four quarterbacks on the roster, the team is bringing in a contingency and one whom the offensive coordinator knows quite well.
"Broncos are signing former Chiefs' QB Kyle Shurmur, who also is the son of Broncos' OC Pat Shurmur, per source. The younger Shurmur needs to pass through COVID protocols, but he is on track to work with his father and the Broncos," ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted Monday afternoon.
Shurmur went undrafted out of Vanderbilt last year and signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. Baptized into the Andy Reid system, Shurmur's arrival in Denver this week serves two purposes; he's a fail-safe and a source for debriefing.
Shurmur knows Reid's scheme and can offer the Broncos some competitive insights that might help the team at Arrowhead Stadium this week. After signing with the Chiefs last, Shurmur jumped back and forth from the practice squad to the active roster.
In April, however, the Chiefs released him and he's been inactive since, but hey, he got that Super Bowl ring. However, keep in mind, Shurmur is not being signed to be the guy but only a fail-safe that the Broncos can turn to in the event that the Football Gods serve up another outlier situation.
The Broncos experienced the sum of all fears for NFL teams, losing every single quarterback to COVID-19 protocol while the league front-office refused to reschedule the game. Kendall Hinton — an undrafted rookie wide receiver on the practice squad — had to be called up to play quarterback for the Broncos vs. the Saints on Sunday. It was bad.
The Broncos share complicity for that atrocity on the field on Sunday but it was a game that never should have been played. The NFL chose to punish the Broncos, making an example out of them and transparently flaunted a double-standard.
The Shurmur signing is Denver's move to ensure that doesn't happen again. He will have to wait six days before he can enter the building, passing a COVID-19 test each day. But in the meantime, his dad Pat can help Kyle cram the Broncos' scheme and playbook in the event the team had no other choice but to play him. It would be by the skin of their teeth but if he passed COVID-19 testing, Shurmur would be available to play on Sunday.
What a world we're living in.
Odds are, Lock will be back at practice on Wednesday because the 'exposure' to Driskel that so vexed the NFL front office was, let's just say, minimal. But just in case, the Broncos have an emergency option QB that can actually play the position, knows the scheme, and can offer a little football espionage on the rival Chiefs.
Shurmur was a 3.5-year starter at Vanderbilt, finishing his collegiate career with 8,865 passing yards and 64 touchdowns to 29 interceptions. He eclipsed Jay Cutler on the Commodores' all-time passing record books in career passing yards and touchdowns.
Lock, Rypien, and Bortles each tested negative on Tuesday morning and have been cleared to return for Week 13.