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Broncos QB Drew Lock expected to start vs. Chargers as Bridgewater (concussion) remains out

For now, the Denver Broncos' faint playoff hopes will continue to rely on backup quarterback Drew Lock.

Starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's recovery from a concussion will prevent him from starting on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers, so the team is expected to again turn to Lock, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday.

Bridgewater was hospitalized with a concussion after being upended on a third-quarter play against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 15, as he tried to dive for a first down. He was released from the hospital a day later, but was later ruled out for last Sunday's game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

It was Bridgewater's second concussion this season.

Lock will make his second start of the year Sunday as the Broncos (7-8) cling to hope for a wild-card playoff berth. Only one of seven AFC playoff spots has been clinched (by the Kansas City Chiefs), but 11 other contenders stand between Denver and one of the other six berths, 10 of whom currently have a better record than the Broncos. One of those teams is the Chargers (8-7), who will have no shortage of motivation as they look to end a two-game slide and affirm their own playoff standing.

Although Bridgewater had to battle Lock for the starting nod in the preseason, he's been the much more effective passer of the two this year. Albeit in limited action, Lock has compiled a 69.3 passer rating, the lowest of his career, in 62 pass attempts over four appearances and one start. Last week against the Raiders, in subbing for Bridgewater, he completed 15 of 22 passes for 153 yards and zero touchdowns in a 17-13 loss.

A win over the Chargers, who played poorly in a loss to the Houston Texans last week, would keep Denver's playoff hopes alive entering a season finale against the Chiefs.

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