Broncos QB Drew Lock (thumb) is expected to be activated from the IR, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The rookie has taken the majority of the 1st-team reps in practice this week and seems to be in line to make his debut against the Chargers on Sunday. Lock struggled to a 60.8% completion rate and 5.0 yards per attempt this preseason. Pro Football Focus ranked him 35th in their preseason passing grades among 39 qualifying QBs. Lock is a bottom-barrel QB2 for Week 13. We'll see if he's an upgrade over QB Brandon Allen for Denver's pass-catchers.
Broncos HC Vic Fangio announced Monday that QB Joe Flacco will miss Week 9 with a neck injury suffered in yesterday's loss to the Colts. Rookie QB Drew Lock still isn't ready to return from his thumb injury, so it'll be Brandon Allen under center for Denver. The 2016 6th-rounder has never taken a regular-season snap and averaged 6.2 yards per attempt with 0 TDs and 3 INTs this preseason. As poorly as Flacco has played, this is a downgrade for Denver's offense.
Update: Flacco has a herniated disc in his neck, according to insider Jeff Lewold. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport adds that Flacco is expected to miss "significant time." He's droppable in all fantasy leagues.
Broncos HC Vic Fangio expects TE Noah Fant to be ready for Week 1 after spraining his ankle in Monday night's preseason game. The rookie was targeted on 3 of QB Joe Flacco's 11 attempts in that one, catching 2 for 7 yards. If healthy, Fant looks set to open the season with a significant role in this passing game. He's on the TE2 radar.
Broncos TE Noah Fant hurt his right foot in the 1st quarter of Monday night's preseason game against the 49ers. Fant left the game after a low hit by Niners S Jaquiski Tartt and did not return, but The Denver Post reports that he remained on the sideline after being examined. That makes it seem like the issue isn't too bad. We'll watch for further word on the situation from the team Tuesday.
Update: ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that it's an ankle injury and "is not considered serious."
The Broncos selected Iowa TE Noah Fant with the 20th pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. Fant was considered the best TE on Iowa a year ago at this time after posting a 30-494-11 line as a sophomore. Teammate T.J. Hockensen usurped Fant this past season, finishing with more catches and yards. Fant still tallied 39 catches for 519 yards himself, though, and led the Hawkeyes with 7 receiving scores. He ranked 6th in this TE class — just behind Hockensen — with 2.15 yards per route run. Fant blew up the Combine, clocking a 4.50-second 40 time and finishing with a 98th percentile SPARQ score. The biggest knock against him is his 12.1% drop rate over the past 2 seasons, but his hands didn’t look like a major problem on tape. Fant is also a serviceable blocker — although he’ll be a catch-first TE for the Broncos. Joining a depth chart alongside Jeff Heuerman and Jake Butt, Fant has every opportunity to capture a big rookie-year role. Longer term, he has top-5 fantasy upside.