Seattle Seahawks separate their quarterbacks to avoid a Denver Broncos-like COVID-19 debacle

The Seattle Seahawks, like everyone else in the NFL, saw what happened to the Denver Broncos last week. The Seahawks made moves this week in an effort to prevent a similar issue.

The Broncos lost all four of the quarterbacks on their roster after they were ruled ineligible to play due to COVID-19 during Week 12. Backup quarterback Jeff Driskel tested positive and the other three quarterbacks – starter Drew Lock, along with Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles – deemed high-risk, COVID-19 close contacts – were also ruled ineligible to play.

The Broncos were forced to start a practice squad wide receiver at quarterback during their 31-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

The Seahawks have implemented plans to avoid a similar scenario. They are now keeping Danny Etling, who is on the practice squad, separate from starter Russell Wilson and backup Geno Smith in meetings. Seahawks’ coach Pete Carroll said the Broncos’ situation spurred them to develop and implement contingency plans.

“We have been in the conversation of this for a long time and we actually kicked into a new gear just by the – I hate to say we had to wait to see something bad happen – but we have stepped forward in terms of taking care of Danny,” Carroll told reporters Wednesday. “So to make sure that he is apart from the other QB’s so if we had, heaven forbid, some kind of a circumstance, he would not be considered connected to those guys. So in essence he is separated from the QB’s for now.”

Carroll did say they had an emergency contingency plan in place to deal with a Broncos-like situation before last week. He said tight end Jacob Hollister, who played quarterback at Mountain View High School in Bend and in junior college, was an option. Carroll also mentioned rookie running back DeeJay Dallas, who spent some time at quarterback in high school.

“We have got a couple guys that can do different things. You would be surprised at the versatility of some of our guys,” Carroll told reporters Wednesday. “Jacob Hollister has quarterback background, DeeJay has a quarterback background and we have some surprises as well. But those are the guys that would jump in for us if we needed it.”

— Geoffrey C. Arnold | @geoffreyCarnold

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