ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The Denver Broncos are in the process of adding free agent Blake Bortles to serve as their backup quarterback, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The person, speaking on condition of anonymity because the Broncos haven’t announced the signing, said the seventh-year veteran is going through the COVID-19 protocols after agreeing to a one-year deal.
Bortles, the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, won’t be able to join the team until the weekend.
Brett Rypien is expected to serve as Jeff Driskel’s backup Sunday when the Broncos (0-2) host Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1).
Bortles, who attended UCF, graduated from Ovideo High School. Driskel went to Hagerty High School in Oviedo.
Driskel took over last weekend when starter Drew Lock injured his throwing shoulder on a sack in Pittsburgh. Lock is expected to miss three to five weeks with a bruised rotator cuff.
Driskel, who is 1-7 as a starter in his career, threw two touchdown passes in relief of Lock but also was sacked six times and threw a critical interception that resulted in Pro Bowl wide receiver Courtland Sutton suffering a season-ending knee injury while making the tackle.
Driskel started five games for the Bengals in 2018 and three for the Lions last year. His career record as a starter is 1-7.
Bortles was the third overall pick in 2014 by Jacksonville, where he spent his first five seasons. He has 106 touchdown passes and 75 interceptions in 81 career games, including 76 starts, three in the playoffs.
Last year, Bortles backed up the Rams’ Jared Goff but threw just two passes in three appearances.
Even without Lock sidelined and Sutton out for the year, the Broncos don’t plan to alter their offense.
“I don’t think it will change significantly,” coach Vic Fangio said Monday in talking about Driskel getting the start.