With their four quarterbacks all out, the Denver Broncos have promoted rookie receiver Kendall Hinton from their practice squad Sunday to play QB against the New Orleans Saints.Starter Drew Lock, backup Brett Rypien and practice squad veteran Blake Bortles were deemed high-risk close contacts with No. 3 quarterback Jeff Driskel on Wednesday, the day before Driskel tested positive for COVID-19.Hinton played quarterback for three years in college before switching to wide receiver last year.Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (ankle) is active against New Orleans after being limited during the week.The Saints juggled their offensive line with Nick Easton starting at left guard for Andrus Peat (concussion) and James Hurst starting at left tackle for Terron Armstead.Tight end Tyler Higbee is active for the Los Angeles Rams’ home game against San Francisco after being limited all week in practice with an elbow injury. Rookie linebacker Terrell Lewis is inactive for the Rams with a persistent knee injury, and new linebacker Derek Rivers is inactive after being claimed off waivers from New England last week.The 49ers have several players back in their lineup, including cornerback Richard Sherman, offensive tackle Trent Williams and leading rusher Raheem Mostert. Starting right guard Tom Compton is out with a concussion.Kansas City receiver Sammy Watkins is active against Tampa Bay after being sidelined since Week 5 with a hamstring injury. For the Buccaneers, guard Ali Marpet returns to lineup after missing three games because of a concussion. Tackle Donovan Smith is active after not practicing all week and being listed as questionable with an ankle injury.___NEW ORLEANS-DENVERSaints: WR Deonte Harris, OL Andrus Peat, RB Ty Montgomery, QB Trevor Siemian, CB Ken Crawley, TE Garrett Griffin, DT Malcolm Roach.Broncos: CB Kevin Tolliver II, S Trey Marshall, LB Mark Barron, G Netane Muti.___SAN FRANCISCO-LA RAMS49ers: CB Akhello Witherspoon, CB K’Waun Williams, RB Tevin Coleman, S Chris Edwards, LB Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, G Tom Compton.Rams: RB Raymond Calais, LB Terrell Lewis, C Brian Allen, WR Trishton Jackson, LB Derek Rivers.___KANSAS CITY-TAMPA BAYChiefs: CB BoPete Keyes, LB Darius Harris, TE Ricky Seals-Jones, DE Tim Ward, DT Khalen Saunders.Buccaneers: LB Jack Cichy, CB Jamel Dean, QB Ryan Griffin, TE Tanner Hudson, G John Molchon, RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn.___MIAMI-NY JETSDolphins: QB Tua Tagovailoa, RB Salvon Ahmed, FB Chandler Cox, G Solomon Kindley, DT Benito Jones.Jets: T George Fant, G Alex Lewis, OL Chuma Edoga, TE Ross Travis, QB James Morgan.___LAS VEGAS-ATLANTARaiders: QB Marcus Mariota, RB Jalen Richard, OL John Simpson, DT Daniel Ross, DE Clelin Ferrell.Falcons: WR Julio Jones, RB Todd Gurley, RB Qadree Ollison, CB Tyler Hall, OT John Wetzel, DT Deadrin Senat.___ARIZONA-NEW ENGLANDCardinals: QB Brett Hundley, RB Eno Benjamin, S Jalen Thompson, OL Joshua Miles, OL Justin Murray.Patriots: QB Brian Hoyer, RB J.J. Taylor, DE Tashawn Bower, DT Byron Cowart, WR Isaiah Ford.___CLEVELAND-JACKSONVILLEBrowns: S Sheldrick Redwine, CB Denzel Ward, RB Dontrell Hilliard, C Nick Harris.Jaguars: CB Sidney Jones, WR D.J. Chark, WR Chris Conley, QB Gardner Minshew, RB Dare Ogunbowale, TE Tyler Davis, DE Reggie Gilbert.___TENNESSEE-INDIANAPOLISTitans: CB Adoree’ Jackson, WR Adam Humphries, LS Matt Orzech, TE MyCole Pruitt, DE Larrell Murchison.Colts: DE Ben Banogu, QB Jacob Eason, C Ryan Kelly, LB Bobby Okereke, WR Dezmon Patmon, CB Isaiah Rodgers, TE Noah Togiai.___LA CHARGERS-BUFFALOChargers: RB Kalen Ballage, CB Casey Hayward, OL Tyree St. Louis, OL Storm Norton, DT Cortez Broughton, QB Easton Stick.Bills: TE Tyler Kroft, DE Trent Murphy, RB T.J. Yeldon, QB Jake Fromm.___CAROLINA-MINNESOTAPanthers: QB Will Grier, RB Christian McCaffrey, CB Donte Jackson, S Sam Franklin, G Dennis Daley, T Greg Little.Vikings: WR/KR/PR K.J. Osborn, S Curtis Riley, CB Dylan Mabin, LS Austin Cutting, DE Jordan Brailford, G Ezra Cleveland, TE Irv Smith Jr.___NY GIANTS-CINCINNATIGiants: K Ryan Santoso, LB T.J. Brunson, DB Montre Hartage, OL Kyle Murphy, DE R.J. McIntosh, LB Trent Harris.Bengals: T Fred Johnson, WR Mike Thomas, G B.J. Finney, G Keaton Sutherland, K Austin Seibert.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFLThe Associated Press
The Denver Broncos elevated rookie receiver Kendall Hinton from the practice squad Sunday morning, hours before he was expected to start at quarterback for a team thats missing its four QBs over coronavirus concerns.
The NFL has fined the New Orleans Saints US$500,000 and stripped them of a 2021 seventh-round draft pick for violating league COVID-19 protocols.A source told the The Associated Press of the move Sunday as well as the New England Patriots being fined $350,000 for similar violations. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because neither the league nor the teams have announced the fines or loss of draft pick.New Orleans was fined as a repeat offender; Sean Payton previously was docked $150,000 and the team $250,000 because the head coach failed to properly wear a face covering during a Week 2 game against the Raiders.The more recent issue with the Saints came after a Week 9 win over Tampa Bay when the team's celebrations included players not wearing masks while in close proximity to one another. The celebrations were captured on video by some players and posted to social media.The Saints are expected to appeal the discipline, which ESPN first reported Sunday morning.New England, which had a mini-outbreak of COVID-19 earlier this season that included positive tests for quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Stephon Gilmore, was fined for not following protocols at that time.Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruptions around the NFL all week, again calling into question the league’s plan to play a full schedule after several weeks that went relatively smoothly.The Denver Broncos will be without their four quarterbacks when they host the Saints on Sunday. Starter Drew Lock, backup Brett Rypien and practice squad veteran Blake Bortles were deemed high-risk close contacts with No. 3 quarterback Jeff Driskel on Wednesday, the day before Driskel tested positive for COVID-19.A source said the four quarterbacks weren’t wearing their masks the whole time they were together as required by the league’s pandemic protocols. The individual also spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the league nor the Broncos revealed that information.The Baltimore Ravens have 20 players on the COVID-19 list, which is for players who’ve either tested positive for the virus or had close contact with an infected person. Baltimore had already disciplined an unidentified staff member for violating COVID-19 protocols, and the outbreak — the worst on any team this season — left the Ravens with three defensive linemen and one quarterback available for Tuesday night’s game at Pittsburgh.That game originally was scheduled for Thursday night, then moved to Sunday and finally to Tuesday. It’s uncertain if it will be played then as well.The Steelers placed starting running back James Conner on the COVID-19 list Saturday.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFLBarry Wilner, The Associated Press