Why Broncos can’t sign Colin Kaepernick to play Sunday against Saints

Why Broncos can’t sign Kap to play QB on Sunday vs. Saints originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Denver Broncos have a major, major problem on the eve of their game against the New Orleans Saints: They don’t have an eligible quarterback on the active roster.

In a bizarre scenario that came to a head Saturday, all four quarterbacks on the Broncos’ roster were deemed ineligible for Sunday’s game in Denver due to COVID-19-related issues.

Jeff Driskel tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, and Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles all came in close contact with Driskel while they weren’t wearing masks.

When the news of the Broncos’ situation started hitting Twitter, a lot of fans wondered if Denver might be able to sign former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who remains a free agent since parting ways with San Francisco in 2017.

But Kaepernick would not be able to sign with the Broncos on Saturday night and suit up for them Sunday against the Saints, due to COVID-19 protocols that he would have to clear.

Based on the protocols in place, it would take at least six days for Kaepernick to become eligible to play, so the most likely scenario is for the Broncos to find someone already within the organization who can play quarterback.

KOA NewsRadio’s Benjamin Allbright reported Saturday, citing a team source, that practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton likely will play quarterback for the Broncos on Sunday. Hinton threw for 1,504 yards in parts of four seasons at Wake Forest.

This past Monday, Kaepernick posted a one-minute video detailing the work he and fellow former 49er Eric Reid are putting in while waiting for NFL teams to call them.

Kaepernick took a seat during the national anthem in 2016 to protest racial and social injustices. He then began kneeling during the anthem, and Reid was among the 49ers players to join him.

While Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL since Jan. 1, 2017, Reid suited up for the Carolina Panthers in 2018 and 2019. He remains a free agent this season.

The argument could be made that Kaepernick would be a better option than Minton to start Sunday since he actually plays the quarterback position. But the NFL’s COVID-19 guidelines won’t allow Kaepernick to play so soon. So while it was a fun idea, it won’t happen.