ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Among the Denver Broncos' first handful of cuts Sunday was wide receiver Kendall Hinton, who famously filled in at quarterback against the New Orleans Saints in 2020 when all four QBs on the roster were deemed ineligible for violating the NFL's COVID-19 protocols.
Hinton, who played quarterback in his early days at Wake Forest, was plucked off the team's practice squad on less than a day's notice after the league banned Drew Lock, Brett Rypien, Jeff Driskel and Blake Bortles from playing in the game.
After running back Phillip Lindsay took a couple of Wildcat snaps to start the game, Hinton went in and operated a skeleton playbook, running twice for 7 yards and completing just one of nine passes for 13 yards with one sack in Denver's 31-3 loss.
Although his passer rating was zero, Hinton was lauded by members of both teams for stepping in and playing the hardest position in football without so much as a practice to prepare.
He returned to the practice squad the following day but the Pro Football Hall of Fame called asking to display the wristband he wore in the game.
Hinton made the Broncos' 53-man roster as a receiver in both 2021 and '22 and caught 39 total passes for 486 yards and a touchdown in 28 games, including a half dozen starts.
Hinton seemed like a good bet to make the roster again this year after Tim Patrick (Achilles), KJ Hamler (heart) and Jalen Virgil (knee) were sidelined and Jerry Jeudy pulled a hamstring Thursday in a joint practice with the Los Angeles Rams.
New coach Sean Payton prefers bigger receivers, however, and Hinton is just 6 feet and 195 pounds.
The Broncos also waived receivers J.J. Koski and Nick Williams and defensive back Delonte Hood.
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Arnie Stapleton, The Associated Press