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Brett Rypien: Dominoes in Denver

As an undrafted free agent, Brett Rypien has been paying his dues on the practice squad again in Denver. This Sunday he can run out of the tunnel.
Credit: David Zalubowski/AP Photo
Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock tosses the ball to Brett Rypien as Jeff Driskel during an NFL football practice at the team's headquarters Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Englewood, Colo.

BOISE, Idaho — Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

At least Brett Rypien has a chance to don an NFL uniform in a regular-season game again. Denver’s starting quarterback, Drew Lock, suffered a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder during Sunday’s 26-21 loss in Pittsburgh and will be out two to six weeks. Mike Klis of KUSA-TV in Denver reports that Rypien will be activated off the Broncos practice squad to serve as the No. 2 QB behind Jeff Driskel until Lock returns. That’s what happened last year when both Lock and Joe Flacco were out. Rypien was promoted to the active roster in early November and backed up Brandon Allen for three games without taking a snap.

Of course, Denver could always go outside the organization and sign another quarterback as a temporary fix. But COVID testing and protocols wouldn’t allow that person to be cleared in time for this week’s game against Tampa Bay. Driskel was okay against the Steelers, throwing for 256 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. He was barely over 50 percent in completion rate, though. Kellen Moore remains the only former Boise State quarterback ever to take a snap in an NFL game. Moore played three games and started two for the Cowboys at the end of the 2015 season.

RELATED: Boise State football: Gotta be this week…

GRIDIRON KNOCKIN’ ON THE DOOR

Veteran college football writer Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports tweeted Monday night that “the Mountain West AD call (earlier in the day) ended with optimism for the league playing football this fall, with Oct. 24th as the preferred start date. There's a MWC presidents call scheduled for Friday, but a vote could be taken sooner.” There you go. Colorado State has been mentioned as a stumbling block to a restart along with Hawaii and Fresno State, but it appears to me that the Rams have been back in the weight room for a while. CSU suspended its program in August during an investigation into the athletic department. I’m betting that—somehow, some way—all 12 Mountain West teams will be aboard.

CULTURE STARTS INSIDE THE BLEYMAIER CENTER

Two of Boise State’s most important leaders this season (have I mentioned “whenever that is”?) are doing it by example during what continues to be summer conditioning. Senior linebacker Riley Whimpey and junior wide receiver Khalil Shakir are the Broncos’ “Ironmen of the Week” for last week. Whimpey has navigated a tough road to become one of the team’s most important players, returning last year less that 10 months after suffering a torn ACL to lead Boise State in tackles with 83. Shakir broke out in 2019 to lead the Broncos in catches with 63 and is emerging as a bonafide NFL prospect. It wouldn’t be surprising to see both Whimpey and Shakir serving as captains this year.

RELATED: Boise State football: Road Warriors, Part III (Utah, 1980)

DONALDSON’S DIATRIBE

Former Boise Hawk Josh Donaldson has not been very productive in his first season with Minnesota. But he was in the headlines over the weekend after a diatribe against Major League umpires. Donaldson yapped at plate umpire Dan Bellino for calling a strike on a check swing in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox last Thursday. The Twins third baseman homered on the next pitch, and—after rounding the bases—kicked dirt on home plate. Realizing he had missed touching the plate, Donaldson returned to kick more dirt on it. "At the end of the day, there's no reprimand, no accountability for the guys that are making the decision,” said Donaldson Saturday. “As a matter of fact, they don't care. They don't care at all, most of them.”

ALDRIDGE’S PERSONAL U.S. OPEN TIE

Nampa’s Tyler Aldridge, now a successful Treasure Valley realtor, was a PGA Tour pro as recently as 2017. And Aldridge posted a cool story on Facebook Monday with a photo of caddy Tim Tucker drinking from the U.S. Open trophy at Winged Foot. Tucker is tournament champion Bryson DeChambeau’s caddy. 

RELATED: Boise State football: So you’re tellin’ me there’s a chance

“Tim was introduced to me in 2016, and I was his first player on the PGA Tour,” said Aldridge. “After me, Bryson became his second player, and what a career it’s been! So incredibly happy for these two!!! Both are incredible guys, and love how they are changing the game.” The buffed DeChambeau is changing the game with brute force. Aldridge, by the way, spent two seasons on the PGA Tour, playing 17 events in 2009 and 14 in 2017.

This Day In Sports…brought to you by BACON…fresh breakfast and brunch every day!

September 22, 1950, 70 years ago today: The inaugural game is played in old Bronco Stadium (then new Bronco Stadium). The wooden structure sat parallel to the Boise River, overlapping the land on which the current stadium stands. A capacity crowd of more than 10,000 fans watched coach Lyle Smith and the Broncos beat Modesto City College on their way to a berth in the Junior Rose Bowl. The stadium was torn down after the 1969 season and replaced by the facility now known as Albertsons Stadium.

RELATED: Boise State football: Big Ten–domino or not?

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.) 

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