Joe Flacco (neck) ruled out; Brandon Allen to start

Joe Flacco exited Sunday's loss to the Indianapolis Colts with more than fiery comments for his team's lack of aggression. The Denver Broncos quarterback also suffered a neck injury.

Coach Vic Fangio announced Monday that Flacco is ruled out of the team's Week 9 tilt against the Cleveland Browns due to the neck injury.

Fangio added that it doesn't appear Flacco will need surgery, per Troy Renck of ABC 7 Denver.

Ruling out the starting QB on Monday underscores the severity of the injury for the 2-6 Broncos.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Flacco could miss significant time and IR is a possibility, per a source informed of the situation.

Brandon Allen will start for Denver against the Browns, per Fangio. A sixth-round pick in 2016 by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Allen has never played a regular-season snap.

Now the 27-year-old Arkansas product will be tossed into the fire against Myles Garrett and the Browns D.

Rookie QB Drew Lock is eligible to come off IR, and Fangio said he would be the backup if the team decided to activate the young signal caller. If the Broncos hold out Lock longer, as GM John Elway alluded last week, the team would promote Brett Rypien from the practice squad. The Broncos could try to hold off on activating Lock until after the Week 10 bye, then give the rookie the chance to compete down the stretch.

Flacco has thrown zero touchdown passes in three straight games, and the Broncos offense has floundered, earning fewer than 300 total yards in each of those tilts.

Elway traded for Flacco in March for a 2019 fourth-round pick, believing the veteran could be a bridge to the future. That bridge has been rickety all season, and now might have collapsed after eight games -- at the very least it's closed for a spell. Where that bridge in Denver even leads remains a mystery.

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