Why did the Broncos play without a quarterback? Where the NFL stands in its COVID-19 battle, what's next

The NFL is just silly right now. Everywhere you turn, the COVID-19 pandemic is imposing events that almost never happen.

The Denver Broncos became the first team to start a non-quarterback at the position since 1965, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, but only after the NFL denied their request to activate an assistant coach for the role (seriously). The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens remain on pace to play the fourth Tuesday night game in NFL history, two of which would have been played this season. The San Francisco 49ers are looking for a temporary home after Santa Clara County placed a three-week ban on all contact sports. Meanwhile, 28 of 32 teams will be required to close their practice facilities on Monday and Tuesday to guard against spread of potential Thanksgiving Day infections.

On the positive side, the NFL managed to play all of Sunday's 12 scheduled contests. No games have been canceled in 2020. On the other hand, five more weeks of the regular season remain -- amid the country's highest infection rates since the pandemic began -- before the league can make a possible shift to local playoff bubbles. (The rolling seven-day average of new daily coronavirus cases is 163,314, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.)

The confluence of ridiculous circumstances has been dizzying and alarming in equal measures. Let's take stock of where the NFL is and where it might go during the next two months.

What in the world is the NFL doing?