Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Drew Lock was out of the field for almost three months, returning to training on Tuesday. The second-round bomber spent the last quarter of a calendar year injured reserve after spraining his thumb in the Broncos third pre-season game.
Although the Broncos were so healthy that they could train for the seventh week point, they put Lock out of action until Tuesday when the team made preparations for their trip against the Minnesota Vikings.
What did Lock look like in his first practice, with so much free time and off the beaten track? Head coach Vic Fangio dropped the curtain and gave the fans a very good rating on the beginner's day.
"He was fine," said Fangio on Wednesday. He takes snapshots regularly today. He did well.
Let's talk about what scout team snapshots mean to those who do not know. Each week, the Broncos scout team, which includes top players and practice squads, leads the next opponent's offensive on the schedule to bring the Denver first-team defense into their ranks, looks, trends and play calls.
So what can the Broncos deduce from Lock's essentially serving the system of another team? The truth is not much, so the beginner started taking these "normal" snapshots on Wednesday.
"Yes, you can assess where he is physically, but yes, it's not your offense," said Fangio. We'll give him a few moments of insult if we go here.
The general assessment of how Lock trained for two days was positive, though the team is very cautious about how they speak about it publicly. Fangio used words like "okay" and "good" to describe Lock & # 39; s performance in practice. This is obviously not a clear affirmation, but it is not a critical charge.
On Monday, Fangio explained what he must see of Lock to have the confidence to actually activate him for the 53-man squad and possibly later play him.
"Good quarterback game and that he belongs," said Fangio.
A quarterback, when he is "finished," will make it indisputable. Back in 2006, when Jake Plummer was the established starter in Denver and Mike Shanahan had just issued a draft pick for Jay Cutler in the first round.
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Plummer opened the season as a starter and eventually faltered, but Shanahan did not press the trigger to make that fateful QB change until Cutler forced the issue by separating on the practice field and making it indisputable to the coaches ,
That did not make the decision easier for Shanahan. But he could not deny that Cutler was ready to leave.  Considering that Lock has not even practiced or accused the real Bronco receiver since August, it will take at least a little while to get back into a groove. But if he is the player the team believes he is, sooner or later he'll break away from the likes of Brandon Allen and Brett Rypien, and his performance on the practice field will be for coach Fangio, OC Rich Scangarello and Make GM John Elway indisputable that he has to play.
And just in case the fans had the hope that Lock could be activated this week as a backup for the 53-member squad, Fangio threw a damp blanket on the idea.