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Broncos’ Drew Lock could start rookie season on IR

This certainly isn’t how Drew Lock imagined his NFL career beginning. The Denver Broncos quarterback suffered a severely sprained right thumb on his throwing hand in his team’s preseason loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night, sidelining him indefinitely and potentially leading him to be placed on injured reserve.

“Yeah, it could be if we don’t think he can play for a while,” Denver coach Vic Fangio said of the possibility that Lock will go on IR, per ESPN’s Jeff Legwold. “The bad thing about it is because of the injury he can’t do much.”

If the Broncos opt to place Lock on injured reserve, he’ll take up one of their active roster spots for Week 1 and be unable to return to the lineup until the midway point of the regular season. The University of Missouri product is unclear how long he’ll be out if he isn’t put on injured reserve, and is placing confidence in the Broncos’ training staff to help him get a clean bill of health.

“[I’m] trusting the [training] staff in there to get me back as soon as possible,” Lock said. “Whenever that is, we’ll decide on whenever I’m 100% ready to go.”

Lock, once considered a potential top-10 pick, was one of draft night’s biggest sliders, falling all the way to the middle of the second round. He threw for 3,498 yards, 28 touchdowns, and eight interceptions as a senior, completing 62.9 percent of his passes.

Though the 22-year-old entered training camp as Denver’s third-string quarterback behind starter Joe Flacco and journeyman Kevin Hogan, he ascended to the No. 2 spot shortly thereafter, entering the game behind Flacco versus both the 49ers and Seattle Seahawks.

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