Denver Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater out of hospital, placed in NFL concussion protocol

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was released from a Denver hospital Monday morning and is now under the guidelines of the NFL's concussion protocol.

Bridgewater was taken from Empower Field at Mile High by ambulance Sunday after he was knocked unconscious following a third-quarter run in the Broncos' 15-10 loss to the Bengals.

"I just spoke to him a few minutes ago,'' Broncos coach Vic Fangio said late Monday morning. "He's been released, he's home, he's resting comfortably. He sounded a lot better this morning than he did last night. Last night he sounded real tired. This morning, and I just spoke to him, he sounded a lot better.''

Fangio said it's "highly unlikely'' Bridgewater would play Sunday against the Raiders but that, at least for now, the Broncos are not considering putting Bridgewater on injured reserve for the last three weeks of the season. The Broncos will have two games remaining after Sunday's game in Las Vegas -- Jan. 2 in Los Angeles against the Chargers and Jan. 9 against the Chiefs in Denver.

Drew Lock is expected to start against the Raiders.

"Relieved that [Bridgewater] is doing well,'' Fangio said. "Said a quick -- my Catholic background -- a quick Hail Mary, Our Father for him [during Sunday's game].''

On a second-and-5 play from the Broncos' 30-yard line, with 5 minutes, 34 seconds left in the third quarter, Bridgewater ran for 6 yards as he dove for what was a first down. After he collided with Bengals linebacker Joe Bachie, Bridgewater landed face-down on the field and didn't initially move after he hit the ground.

The Broncos' medical staff held his head motionless as they turned him over and strapped him to a backboard. Bridgewater was then taken off the field on a cart and transported by ambulance to a downtown Denver hospital.

"It was definitely scary,'' center Lloyd Cushenberry III said. "Just to see him laid down like that, I just glad he's all right now, but it was definitely scary.''

Bridgewater, who was 12-of-22 passing for 98 yards in the game, has started all 14 of the Broncos' games this season. Sunday was the second concussion he has suffered this season; he also left the team's Week 4 loss to the Ravens just before halftime with a concussion.

Bridgewater did not play in the second half of that game, but did play the following week against the Steelers.