Blake Bortles is now the Broncos' designated survivor after COVID-19 fiasco

Liz Roscher
·2 min read

The Denver Broncos aren’t taking any chances after COVID-19 protocols took out all their quarterbacks and turned their Week 12 game against the New Orleans Saints into a fiasco. They’re going to make absolutely sure they have an emergency COVID-19 quarterback going forward.

That quarterback will be Blake Bortles, according to head coach Vic Fangio. He will essentially be the Broncos’ designated survivor for the rest of the season.

Designated survivor

To make sure they’re not caught without a quarterback for the rest of the season, the Broncos are employing the same concept the government uses to make sure it can function in case multiple high-ranking government officials are incapacitated at the same time.

One member of the president’s line of succession must be at a different location during major events like the State of the Union in case there’s a catastrophic event. That’s the designated survivor. You might know it from the Kiefer Sutherland TV show of the same name.

Denver Broncos quarterback Blake Bortles, front, takes part in drills as injured quarterback Drew Lock looks on during an NFL football practice Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Broncos quarterback Blake Bortles takes part in drills as injured quarterback Drew Lock looks on during practice on Sept. 24, 2020, in Englewood, Colorado. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Broncos’ version is similar. Fangio said Wednesday that Bortles would be staying away from the facility and his teammates from now on to limit his exposure in case someone on the team has COVID-19 and is unwittingly spreading it.

“One thing we’re going to do today and do it on a day-to-day basis: Blake’s not going to come into the building today from home after the virtual meetings,” head coach Vic Fangio said Wednesday, via BroncosWire.

Bortles will still be allowed to come to the facility to eat and to get his required COVID-19 testing, but that’s it. To limit any possible exposure to COVID-19, he’ll be doing all of his meetings virtually, won’t be practicing with the team, and will need to stay away from his teammates whenever he is in the building.

Limiting Bortles’ practice time with the team probably won’t do much good for his overall game if he’s pressed into service, but it’s better than the alternative. The Broncos had to start practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton at quarterback last week. He went 1-for-9 for 13 yards and two interceptions on the way to a 31-3 stomping. For Denver, anything is better than a repeat of that.

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