Blake Bortles lands with Denver Broncos with Drew Lock out

In need of a quarterback with Drew Lock out, the Denver Broncos have signed Blake Bortles.

The Denver Broncos lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday, and they also lost quarterback Drew Lock to a shoulder injury for the next 3-5 weeks. Jeff Driskel was the only other quarterback on the 53-man roster, and on Tuesday morning the Broncos agreed to a one-year deal with Blake Bortles. The deal is pending a physical and COVID-19 testing, but is expected to be finalized this week.

Driskel played solidly after coming in for Lock against the Steelers (18-for-34 for 256 yards, two touchdowns, one interception). He is expected to start while Lock is out, but Bortles brings experience and necessary insurance.

Bortles spent last season with the Los Angeles Rams, seeing action in three games with two pass attempts as Jared Goff’s backup. He is course best remembered, or lamented, for his five seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars after being taken third overall in the 2014 draft. The obvious high point was 2017, when the Jaguars reached the AFC Championship Game and led that game going into the fourth quarter. In 2015 Bortles had his most productive year, topping 4,400 passing yards with 35 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Fantasy football managers surely remember his garbage time production.

Bortles is 24-49 as a starter in his career, with 103 touchdowns, 75 interceptions and a 80.6 passer rating. By comparison, Driskel has 13 career appearances and eight starts on his resume.

The Broncos seem set to try and stay afloat with Driskel starting under center, with Bortles getting up to speed to learn the system as the backup. Some shifting around of practice squad spots seems certain, at minimum, just to make room for the addition of another body at quarterback. If Bortles has to play a lot while Lock is out, things may be really going off the rails in Denver.

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