Talk about a wild few weeks for Kendall Hinton, who went from working a sales job to being an NFL practice squad player in November. But that was nothing.
On Saturday, he went from arriving for work as a Denver Broncos practice squad wide receiver to being told he would start at quarterback for them in less than 24 hours because all four Broncos quarterbacks violated COVID-19 protocol.
The outcome was basically what was expected with Denver losing 31-3 to New Orleans on Sunday, a day that started with Broncos quarterback Drew Lock getting out in front of the carnage with an apology. The NFL is investigating the quarterbacks who did not wear masks for an entire Wednesday practice, an increased exposure risk once third-string quarterback Jeff Driskel tested positive Thursday.
“In a controlled and socially distanced area, we let our masking slip for a limited amount of time,” Lock tweeted. “An honest mistake, but one I will own. I sincerely apologize and I fully understand why these safety precautions are so important. Doing the right thing for a majority of the time is not good enough.”
Broncos coach Vic Fangio did not minimize the violation.
“I was disappointed on several levels: that our QBs put us in that position, that our QBs put the league in that position,” Fangio said. “We count on them to be the leaders of our team, the leaders of our offense, and those guys made a mistake.”
Hinton, a quarterback at Wake Forest in 2017 before switching to receiver, handled limited duty as the Broncos had running backs take snaps in Wildcat formations mostly.
Hinton finished 1 for 9 with two interceptions, completing a 13-yard pass that helped set up the field goal.
“I can easily say this has been the most eventful 24 hours of my life,” Hinton said. “But when I got the ball, it was pure excitement. Of course, there was nerves and disbelief.”
Watching Hinton probably made some fans long for the days of Tim Tebow.