Denver Broncos QB Drew Lock likely to start; RB Melvin Gordon has illness

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock is expected to start Sunday against the New England Patriots, while running back Melvin Gordon remains a significant question mark.

"[Lock] is trending the right way,'' coach Vic Fangio said after Friday's practice.

Patriots center James Ferentz was expected to be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday.

Meanwhile, all NFL games for this week remain on schedule, a league source told ESPN's Dianna Russini.

Gordon, who was cited for both DUI and speeding late Tuesday night in downtown Denver, did not practice Friday and was sent home because of an illness. Fangio said the illness was not COVID-19 related.

"[An] illness totally unrelated with COVID, totally unrelated to his situation Tuesday night,'' Fangio said of Gordon, who is listed as questionable on the injury report.

Lock, tight end Noah Fant and defensive tackle Mike Purcell also were listed as questionable. However, Fangio said Lock, who suffered a right (throwing) shoulder injury in the first quarter of a Week 2 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, was listed that way because there is no longer a "probable'' designation.

"It's questionable or nothing," Fangio said, "so we're choosing questionable."

Fangio said Lock, who practiced fully all week, would start against the Patriots if there is no soreness in the shoulder Saturday.

"No setbacks ... just a conversation with him about where he's at, that's basically it,'' Fangio said when asked what would be the deciding factor to start Lock in the game.

Gordon, the team leader in carries (65), rushing yards (281) and rushing touchdowns (3), was being treated by the medical staff. If he can't play, Jeremy Cox would move to the active roster from the practice squad to provide depth behind Phillip Lindsay, who is expected to play in his first game since injuring his toe in the first half of the season opener.

Lindsay and Royce Freeman are the only other running backs besides Gordon on the current 53-man roster.