Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock will remain on the active roster, allowing for the possibility that the starter could return in less than three weeks.
Broncos coach Vic Fangio said Wednesday the team "considered putting him on IR."
This season, players on injured reserve must miss at least three games.
Lock was diagnosed with a rotator cuff strain after he was sacked during the first half of Denver's loss to Pittsburgh last week. The initial prognosis was that Lock would miss at least two games.
"There's a chance he might not have to miss three games," Fangio said. "At the same point, there's a chance he might have to miss four or five. So rather than eliminate the possibility of him coming back if he's healthy enough, we've kept him on the active roster, at this point."
The Broncos reportedly are poised to sign Blake Bortles as backup to Jeff Driskel in Lock's absence, once the former No. 3 overall draft pick in 2014 clears testing protocols for COVID-19.
Driskel, 27, replaced Lock against the Steelers and was sacked six times but completed 18 of 34 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. The Broncos host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3 before visiting the New York Jets and New England Patriots.
Bortles, 28, spent five seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars before backing up Jared Goff for the Los Angeles Rams in 2019. He appeared briefly in three games, attempting just two passes.
--Field Level Media