Fangio: Rypien to start against Patriots if Lock isn’t ready

NFL

Drew Lock is 50-50 for the Denver Broncos’ game at New England next weekend but if his right shoulder is still sore, fellow second-year pro Brett Rypien will get his second straight start.

Coach Vic Fangio said he’ll see how Lock does when the team returns to practice Tuesday. Lock hasn’t thrown a football since getting hurt at Pittsburgh on Sept. 20.

”I just need to see a healthy quarterback,” Fangio said. ”I’m not going to put him out there unless he’s healthy, he can throw without hesitation, without altering his delivery and he’s very confident — and healthy — that he can go out there and play normal.”

Rypien led the Broncos (1-3) to a 38-27 win over the winless New York Jets on Thursday night when he became the first QB since Jim Druckenmiller in 1997 to win his first NFL start despite throwing three interceptions.

Lock, a second-round draft pick in 2019, injured his throwing shoulder on a sack at Pittsburgh in Week 2 and was replaced by Jeff Driskel, who lost his start against Tampa Bay last week.

Rypien, an undrafted QB out of Boise State and the nephew of former Super Bowl winner Mark Rypien, threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns.

”Overall, very pleased with his play, not pleased with three interceptions, obviously,” Fangio said. ”But if he has to play this coming week in New England, I think he’ll be even better for it.”

Fangio had no updates on tight end Noah Fant (ankle) and rookie receiver KJ Hamler (hamstring) other than to say, ”it’s iffy whether they’ll be ready to play” next weekend at New England.

Fangio said Hamler’s injury is to the same hamstring the speedster hurt in training camp ”but it’s in a different place. It’s a totally new injury.”

Fangio said he expects running back Phillip Lindsay (turf toe) to play against the Patriots.

”He could have played last night. He was ready to play mentally and physically, but I didn’t feel comfortable playing him without any practice,” Fangio said. ”He essentially hadn’t practiced since sustaining the injury. Last week’s practices were all walkthrough-type practices, so I didn’t think it would be the fair thing to play him, nor the prudent thing.”

Fangio said he’s ”probably not as optimistic” with cornerback A.J. Bouye’s return from a sprained shoulder ”as I am with Drew. So, he’s less than 50-50.”

NO BAD BLOOD

Fangio said there’s no bad blood between him and Jets coach Adam Gase after Rypien was hit hard twice in the closing seconds of a chippy performance by the Jets, who committed six personal fouls.

Fangio didn’t meet Gase for the customary postgame handshake because he was busy trying to keep the peace and shoo his players into the locker room.

”Both of us texted with each other after the game and we spoke today on the phone. Adam and I are friends, have been, will continue to be,” Fangio said. ”… I just didn’t want any situation to happen there that would be an embarrassment for the league and for the teams.”

Notes: The Broncos worked out several free agent D-linemen Friday, including Broncos 2013 first-round draft pick Sylvester Williams. ”He looked fine,” Fangio said. ”Hopefully he’s got some good ball left in him. If he’s the guy that we so choose to go with, he’s going to get an opportunity to play.”

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