Drew Lock's promising second season is now in intermission.
The Broncos quarterback suffered a rotator cuff strain in Sunday's loss to Pittsburgh, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported, per sources informed of the situation. The hope is Lock is back no later than midseason, Rapoport and Pelissero added. Denver coach Vic Fangio told reporters Monday his young QB will be out 3-5 weeks.
Lock suffered the injury when he was sacked by Steelers edge rusher Bud Dupree in the first quarter of their Week 2 meeting, fumbling in the process. Lock did not return, forcing Denver to turn to backup Jeff Driskel.
The understudy performed admirably, completing 18 of 34 passes for 256 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He nearly engineered a go-ahead scoring drive late, but Denver stalled inside Pittsburgh's red zone while searching for the necessary touchdown.
The going doesn't get easier for Denver next week when the Broncos return home to host the Buccaneers, but they might get a bit of a reprieve on Thursday Night Football in Week 4 when they travel to New York to face the struggling Jets.
Lock's injury is disappointing for Broncos fans simply because 2020 was supposed to be the year when Lock received a full season's worth of a chance to prove he can be Denver's franchise quarterback. After a rookie season in which Lock started five games, completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 1,020 yards, a 7-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio, and won four of those five starts, Broncos fans had legitimate cause for optimism entering this campaign.
Lock instead saw just four-and-a-half quarters of action before heading to the sideline until what might end up being Halloween.
We're headed for some potentially spooky times in Denver after just two games.