Lock returns to practice but Rypien gets first-team reps

Injured Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock stretches before taking part in drills during an NFL football practice at the team's training headquarters Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, in Englewood, Colo.

That lonely headset life might soon be over for Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock.

“It’s great to get back with the guys, calling plays in the huddle, feel the camaraderie of the team,” Lock said. “It’s pretty lonely back there when you’re with the headset, just kind of walking things through your head.”

Lock was a full participant in practice Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in Week 2 and could return Sunday afternoon when the Broncos play the New England Patriots in a repeatedly delayed game at Gillette Stadium.

He said he used the recovery time to study up.

Lock hurt his shoulder against the Pittsburgh Steelers when he landed awkwardly while being sacked. He said he watched a lot of football and observed how other quarterbacks avoided that situation, which is something he can improve upon.

He also watched Brett Rypien’s technique in practice and against the New York Jets on Oct. 1, how he looked out for his targets.

“I definitely took a little bit from his game and tried to bring it into mine coming into Sunday,” Lock said.

The unexpected bye week, which became necessary when multiple members of the Patriots organization tested positive for COVID-19 last week, gave Lock another week to get healthy and potentially cost Rypien a second career start.

“It’s great to see Drew back this week,” Rypien said. “Whatever happens as far as the game goes this week, I’m just doing what they tell me to do. I’ll be there for Drew throughout this entire week helping him get prepared as well as getting myself prepared if need be.”

Coach Vic Fangio called the quarterback situation “a decision that we’ll keep evaluating throughout the week.”

“It’s my conversations with Drew that play a big part (in) it. Then you make your comparison to where Drew’s at to where Brett’s at,” Fangio said.

Taking attendance

Cornerback A.J. Bouye was at practice for the first time since Week 1. He remains on injured reserve but is eligible to return any time. Nose tackle Mike Purcell and tight end Noah Fant were limited. Receiver KJ Hamler, linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu and most notably running back Melvin Gordon, who was charged with DUI on Tuesday, did not practice as the Broncos and NFL mull discipline.

“Everything’s open right now,” Fangio said in response to a question about whether Gordon will be deactivated Sunday.

Miller on schedule

Fangio said linebacker Von Miller is where he should be in his recovery from ankle surgery.

He added it’s too early to tell whether Miller will be able to return later in the season.

“I know that’s his goal,” Fangio said. “That’s our goal too. But I can assure you we won’t put him out there until he’s truly healed enough to play.”

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