The Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints game in Week 12 is going to be a must-watch matchup, but not for good reason. After Broncos quarterback Jeff Driskel tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, the three other quarterbacks on Denver's roster were deemed high risk, close contacts, and ruled ineligible for Sunday's game less than 24 hours before kickoff. With no one to start at quarterback, the Broncos did reportedly have a backup plan -- and it involved an assistant coach.
According to Mike Klis of 9News, offensive quality control coach Rob Calabrese ran the offense at practice on Saturday, and the team inquired of the league if they could sign Calabrese or another offensive assistant coach who played quarterback in college to their active roster to suit up on Sunday. The league reportedly rejected the idea.
Calabrese last played for the University of Central Florida in 2012 as a redshirt senior. He began his collegiate career as a quarterback, but also played some wide receiver during his time in Orlando. Calabrese was hired by the Broncos as an offensive quality control coach in January of 2019. The other assistant Denver was reportedly interested in promoting was Justin Rascati, who is also an offensive quality control coach. Rascati spent a couple of years at Louisville, but transferred to James Madison to finish his collegiate career in 2004. While these coaches haven't played football in several years, they at least know the offense well enough to run it.
With all of Denver's quarterbacks out, practice-squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton is expected to take over as the starting signal-caller on Sunday. The Wake Forest product was a wide receiver in 2019, but played at quarterback the four seasons prior. Find out more about the Broncos' new wide receiver turned starting quarterback, here.
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