Fangio on Whether Drew Lock Will Start Week 13: 'All Options are on the Table'
After the Denver Broncos stunk it up in Buffalo, getting trounced by the Bills 20-3, the hope back in the Mile High City was that with an eighth loss now in the standings, change would be coming at the quarterback position.
With the Broncos sitting at 3-8, fans want to see Drew Lock.
Brandon Allen has filled in admirably these past three games, but he completed just 40% of his passes in Buffalo and his lack of arm talent was apparent, especially in the face of the wind and in comparison to Josh Allen's impervious response to the self-same elements.
Will the Broncos activate Lock this week?
"It's possible, yeah," head coach Vic Fangio said on Monday during his day-after presser. "We don't have to make a declaration on him [Lock] until next Tuesday, I believe. As far as this week goes, all options are on the table. We could activate him. We're just going to make that decision here in the next few days."
Fangio was speaking specifically to whether Lock would be activated to the 53-man roster, but to go out of his way to say, "as far as this week goes", he's talking about the starting QB job, which will is up in the air and pointing toward Lock.
While this is far from the iron-clad commitment fans were hoping for, I've covered now every press conference Fangio has had since arriving in Denver. I can read between the lines to the point now where I can tell you now that a shift has taken place at Dove Valley.
I told listeners of the Huddle Up Podcast on Sunday that I do expect the Broncos to not only activate Lock this week off of injured reserve, but to also start him. However, when pressed on whether the Broncos would make an announcement on that front on Monday, I was doubtful.
The Broncos will announce it, just not on Monday, which is a workday usually reserved for reviewing the previous game more than it is about looking or planning ahead. Those meetings and conversations will take place between now and Wednesday.
The way Fangio is talking about Lock now is different. It feels like the coach has come to terms with the reality that he's likely to start this week, and so he's talking about him publicly a bit differently than he has thus far. Simply acknowledging that indeed "all options are on the table" this week is a vast departure from the 'Brandon is our guy' mantra we've heard from on high since before the bye.
The wheels of change are in motion.
Fangio's tonality has softened — more encouraging and confident on the subject of Lock. Barring some sort of step backward in practice, the stars are aligning for Lock to get the greenlight this week at home vs. the Los Angeles Chargers.
If indeed the Broncos pull the trigger on starting Lock, he'll get a five-game audition to prove to the coaches and front office that he can be the guy in 2020 and beyond. What can Lock do to ensure he gets the nod this week?
Fangio revealed what he'll be looking for from Lock during this week's practice sessions, in order to have full confidence that he can step in and play.
"Just see some more practice but really the practices now at this time of year are limited—you're talking 40 plays a day—just to make sure he's okay physically, which he is," Fangio said. "And [that] he's prepared mentally and emotionally to go out there and play."