Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson has suggested that the NFL purposely didn't want to reschedule the Broncos game against the New Orleans Saints for Monday or Tuesday because they wanted to send a message to the rest of the league what will happen to teams that don't follow COVID-19 protocols.
Broncos quarterback Jeff Driskel tested positive for the coronavirus this week but the remaining quarterbacks on the teams didn't follow COVID-19 protocols so they were uneligible to play on Sunday. It led to something that has never been seen before in the NFL as the Broncos -- who were left without a quarterback for the game -- started practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hilton at quarterback.
As expected, it ended in a blowout loss as the Saints routinely handled the Broncos 31-3. "I feel like maybe [the game] could have been moved, but at the same time, maybe the league was making an example of us as far as maybe not doing the things we needed to do in that particular room, that quarterback room,'' Jackson said, per ESPN.
"Obviously, the guys didn't follow their protocols, and for [the NFL] to see that, I guess they felt like they had to make an example, so at the end of [the] day, it is what it is. " ... Obviously, it's our guys' fault for not wearing their masks, but at least maybe move the game to the next day or whenever so we're given a fighting chance,'' Jackson added.
"[It's] obviously disappointing. I'm not sure why it wasn't moved. I have no clue ... as a competitor, [it is] definitely frustrating.' '
Hilton was excited when the Broncos called his number
"When I got the call, it was pure excitement.
Of course, there was nerves and disbelief,'' Hinton said. " ... Coming in, I knew I had no idea of what the speed of the game was like. ... We knew it would be a tough situation, for sure.' ' Meanwhile, Broncos coach Vic Fangio admitted he was disappointed his quarterbacks weren't more responsible.
"I was disappointed on a couple levels: that our quarterbacks put us in this position, that our quarterbacks put the league in that position. We count on them to be the leaders of the team, the leaders of the offense, and those guys made a mistake, and that is disappointing,'' Fangio said.
"Obviously, I haven't done a good enough job of selling the protocols to them when they're on their own ... There was a failing there, and that's disappointing.' '