The Denver Broncos started the 2021 season 3-0, but they suffered multiple setbacks against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4. The Broncos lost their first game of the year, 23-7, and they also lost starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to a concussion. Drew Lock finished the game in place of Bridgewater.
Bridgewater was placed in the NFL’s concussion protocol, so there was some doubt about him playing this weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fortunately, the veteran quarterback made good progress across the course of the week, and both ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport are reporting that Bridgewater has cleared the protocol and will give it a go.
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Bridgewater got off to an outstanding start this season before getting hurt against Baltimore. He notched a quarterback rating over 100 in each of the first three games while also completing at least 76% of his passes in each of those games. The 28-year-old Broncos quarterback has thrown for 892 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions on a 72.1% completion rate so far this season.
Lock struggled against the Ravens, continuing his issues from last season. Once viewed as the quarterback of the future, the youngster has regressed in a big way since showing a lot of promise in his rookie season. Denver turned to the veteran in Bridgewater this offseason because of the lack of faith in Lock.
The Broncos have an interesting matchup ahead against Pittsburgh. While the Steelers are just 1-3, this won’t be an easy game on the road. Denver’s defense will need to get after Ben Roethlisberger and make sure to continue his struggles, and Bridgewater must continue to take care of the ball against a stellar defensive unit. This game will be a good barometer to see if this team is for real.
Bridgewater is hoping wide receiver Courtland Sutton will play, but he’s a game-time decision.