Brandon Allen starting for Denver Broncos in place of hurt Joe Flacco

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Denver Broncos quarterback Brandon Allen warms up before the start of an NFL football game between the Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco, who ripped Denver’s coaches for their play-calling in their last-minute loss at Indianapolis, won’t play next week because of a herniated disk in his neck.

Coach Vic Fangio said backup Brandon Allen will start Sunday when the Broncos (2-6) host the Cleveland Browns (2-5). Fangio said he’ll decide this week between two rookies as the backup: second-round draft pick Drew Lock, who is on IR with a right thumb injury, or undrafted QB Brett Rypien, who is on the practice squad.

Just last week, the Broncos were talking about slow-rolling Lock’s return to practice, which would trigger a two-week window in which they’d have to activate him or have him sit out the remainder of the season. Lock sprained the thumb on his throwing hand during the preseason and hasn’t practiced since mid-August.

Flacco said he’s been dealing with a sore neck for a while and he was getting it worked on between series Sunday.

Fangio said Flacco will be evaluated after the bye in two weeks but that he didn’t think he’d land on IR.

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Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

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