With Drew Lock still recovering from his shoulder injury, the Broncos have opted not to go back to Jeff Driskel. Head coach Vic Fangio announced on Tuesday that Brett Rypien will start this week.
Rypien is a second-year QB who went undrafted out of Boise State in 2019 and signed an unprecedented college free-agent deal with Denver that exceeded $100K guaranteed. Rypien has spent most of his NFL career on the Broncos practice squad, though he saw a few active games last and a few this year.
In Denver’s Week 3 loss to Tampa Bay, Rypien saw his first NFL action. After Fangio benched Driskel, Rypien entered for the final offensive series.
The young QB made pre-snap protection checks, delivered on-time passes and moved the ball. He finished 8-of-9 for 53 yards and threw a what-the-heck interception on his final attempt, which was a fourth-down play trailing 28-10 at the two-minute mark.
It’ll be interesting to see Rypien go toe-to-toe with a formerly high-drafted Jets QB Sam Darnold.
Fangio credited Rypien’s football IQ and his year and a half with the Broncos as the reason for his decision. Rypien provided a spark in relief of Driskel and the Broncos can use any positive momentum they can get at this stage.
Rypien will be on a short leash as Fangio didn’t rule out the possibility of using Driskel in certain situations. Blake Bortles might be a factor next week but there wasn’t enough time to get him ready for the Jets.