Denver Broncos QB Drew Lock urging teammates to stay vigilant amid pandemic

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- There are already plenty of things on Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock's plate in his first full season as the team's starter.

That includes everything from learning a new playbook from first-year offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur to organizing offseason workouts in a time of COVID-19 to guiding one of the league's youngest offenses.

So, add healthy lifestyle consultant to the list, as teams around the league try to stay healthy during a pandemic.

"It's my responsibility to remind us this is a very important season for all of us -- it's an important season for everybody (in the league) -- but it's also very important for us to stay healthy,'' Lock said after Monday's training camp practice. "And realize if we really do love the game as much as we say we do, we should be willing to sacrifice a little bit of free time and some time out of football. I know personally, I love it enough to give that up.''

Broncos president of football operations/general manager John Elway had already said this offseason the teams that manage themselves away from the strict health and safety protocols, as well as COVID-19 testing in place at every team complex, "will probably have the most success.''

The 23-year-old Lock said Monday that he believes it's not too difficult for players, coaches and other team personnel to practice social distancing and be cautious away from the team's facility during training camp because the daily schedule is packed with meetings, walk-throughs and practices.

The challenges will come down the road, when the regular season begins next month.

"It's real easy right now for us to be safe because we're here from this early in the morning to this late at night and all you want to do when you're done is go home, get your rest and start the day back up again,'' Lock said. "I think the real thing is going to be when we get into a game prep week, (when) we've got a couple off days, the nights are not as long as camp, mornings aren't as early to work, guys might feel like they have a little bit of free time.''

It all echoes what Elway's message has been to the team: that until there is a vaccine for COVID-19, safety is something that must be approached over the long haul.

"Realize as players, and even as coaches, when they are away from this building, they have to be very careful with amount of people that they are around and who they are around so they don't get exposed, miss time and even bring it into the building,'' Elway said as training camp opened. "These players, more than ever, have to be more dedicated to the cause of what we are trying to do, and that's to win football games.''