When the Broncos take the field Sunday, they’ll do so without a quarterback.
Denver is instead expected to start practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton under center; Hinton has never played in an NFL game before, but he saw time at quarterback at Wake Forest.
How did this happen? Well, the Broncos’ eligible quarterbacks — Drew Lock, Blake Bortles and Brett Rypien — were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list because they were deemed high-risk close contacts of a player who tested positive.
In this bizarre NFL season, though, the show must go on. According to ESPN, Denver attempted to sign offensive quality control coach Rob Calabrese to the active roster to start at quarterback against the Saints, but the league denied that request.
Enter Hinton, the new face of the Broncos for at least one Sunday — although running back Royce Freeman is another option to serve as an emergency quarterback.
Hinton starred at Southern Durham High School in North Carolina, and he was ranked a three-star recruit by 247Sports. He passed for 3,258 yards and 30 touchdowns and ran for another 835 yards as a senior, leading him to Wake Forest.
His time with the Demon Deacons didn’t go as smoothly, though. He ran for seven rushing touchdowns as a freshman and started two games at quarterback, but he missed most of his sophomore campaign with a knee injury.
By 2018, Wake Forest shifted Hinton to receiver. The move stuck, leading the team in receptions as a redshirt senior while finishing with 1,001 receiving yards. That put Hinton on the path to the NFL, but the undrafted free agent was cut by the Broncos during training camp.
Denver added him to the practice squad earlier in November, though, and now he’s expected to make his first start at a position he hasn’t played since 2018.
Hinton finished his Wake Forest career with 1,504 passing yards, completing 133 of his 253 passing attempts. His last passing touchdown came in 2017, and he only attempted eight throws in 2018.
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.