Drew Lock opens up about his path back to the gridiron

Drew Lock throws in Denver's second practice of the 2019 training camp. Credit: Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports.
Drew Lock throws in Denver's second practice of the 2019 training camp. Credit: Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports.

There is no secret regarding the Denver Broncos’ inability to find a steady quarterback since the departure of Peyton Manning.

The quarterback position has been a revolving door since “The Sheriff” walked off the field a Super Bowl champion following the 2015 season.

Denver has run through a handful of quarterbacks to replace Manning throughout the last few seasons to no avail.

The Broncos again rolled the dice on a quarterback in 2019 when they drafted Missouri hurler Drew Lock with the 42nd overall pick.

The decision to draft Lock came after the Broncos pulled the trigger on a trade for veteran quarterback Joe Flacco.

Flacco’s first season in the orange and blue was underwhelming and ended early due to a neck injury, which forced the Broncos to place him on Injured Reserve.

With Flacco’s injury, there is now yet another opening at quarterback for the Broncos. Rookie Brandon Allen stepped in versus the Cleveland Browns and pushed the Broncos to victory in Week 9, but he is not expected to be the Broncos’ quarterback long term.

Lock has spent the entirety of the season on IR with a hand injury, but following the Broncos bye week, he finally began to participate in practice.

While Allen is currently listed as the Broncos starter, there is an expectation that Lock will see game action at some point this season.

For Lock, a return to practice was a step in the right direction.

“It had been a long time,” Lock said. “It was like a dream come true coming back out here. It’s like I’m starting my journey back in the NFL all over again. It feels good to be finally back out there with the guys.

”It’s different because you’re involved with the team when you’re not practicing, but it doesn’t feel the same when you’re not actually out there doing it with them,” Lock continued. “To finally be able to be out there and be around the guys and toss the ball around a little bit, it felt really good.”

While Lock was unable to participate in on-field activities for the better part of two months, he feels that time allowed him to sharpen up the mental aspect of his game.

“I think with how we prepared in this whole time when I wasn’t actually out here physically doing anything being able to be mentally ready,” Lock said. “I think that helped put me a step ahead.”

Denver expects Lock to be ready to go in roughly three weeks, barring any unforeseen setbacks. For the time being, Lock will practice and stay prepared for when his time comes.

Fans and local media have put a lot of pressure on Lock to perform well when he is activated.

Broncos Country has been desperate for a reliable quarterback since Manning’s departure, and many are hopeful Lock could be just that.

Despite the conversation surrounding him, Lock has blocked outside noise as best as possible while tempering expectations for himself.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say that,” Lock said of if the remainder of the season is an audition to see if he could be the Broncos quarterback long term. “That’s kind of not how I’m looking at the situation right now. I’m looking at just trying to get back to being me, not trying to prove anything too fast. Just trying to get back to being me, who I know I am as a quarterback. If that’s who they want as their long-term guy, then so be it.”

For now, Denver will run with Allen as QB1, but the entire state of Colorado is anxiously awaiting Lock’s debut.

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