Fact Check: Denver Broncos Did NOT Sign Colin Kaepernick To Play Sunday, November 29, 2020, After Other Quarterbacks Were Placed In COVID-19 Quarantine

Fact Check

  • by: Alan Duke
Fact Check: Denver Broncos Did NOT Sign Colin Kaepernick To Play Sunday, November 29, 2020, After Other Quarterbacks Were Placed In COVID-19 Quarantine Too Late

Did the Denver Broncos sign Colin Kaepernick to play quarterback on Sunday, November 29, 2020, after all of the team's quarterbacks were ordered into quarantine for COVID-19 exposure? No, that's not true: The same NFL COVID-19 protocols that benched all four of Denver's quarterbacks would also prevent Kaepernick from suiting up on short notice to play in the Bronco's game against the New Orleans Saints. It would take at least six days for an inactive player to go through testing and other processes needed to take the field.

The claim appeared in a meme in a post (archived here) shared on Instagram on Saturday, November 28, 2020. It read:


This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:

image (39).png

The Denver Broncos desperately need a quarterback for the Saints game at Mile High Stadium Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. As ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter explained in a tweet, the team lost all four quarterbacks after backup QB Jeff Driskel tested postive for COVID-19 on November 26 and NFL contact tracers determined that starter Drew Lock, and back ups Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles, were all exposed to close contact with Driskel without masks.

Coaches began considering their offensive options, including moving another player with college quarterbacking experience or just having a running back take snaps directly. Bringing in a new player to the team, including Kaepernick, would not be possible in less than 24 hours.

The NFL/NFLPA COVID-19 Testing & Treatment Protocols require "multi-day tests" before a new player can even enter club facilities:

Before any player or personnel was allowed access to club facilities for training camp, they underwent multi-day tests. Only individuals that tested negative for all tests conducted were allowed to enter the club facility.

Kaepernick has been out of the league for four seasons in the wake of the controversy over his decision to kneel during the National Anthem, an action that now is uncontroversial.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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