Broncos O Coordinator Pat Shurmur on COVID-19 List – Community News
Covid-19

Broncos O Coordinator Pat Shurmur on COVID-19 List

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The Denver Broncos are making backup plans for the call after offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday and joined a fourth infected player on the reserve/COVID-19 list this week.

A few hours after coach Vic Fangio declined to say who would play against Philadelphia on Sunday if Shurmur can’t, the team confirmed it would be quarterback coach Mike Shula, who would also be on headset with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Also on Friday, the Broncos put Austin Schlottmann on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

“It’s a big concern,” defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones said of the flow of business. “I feel like a lot of guys get it left and right and get the COVID card.”

The team has stepped up its restrictive measures this week, making everyone inside wear masks and moving meetings to larger rooms where players are more spread out.

Pat Shurmur
Pat Shurmur
AP

“It’s hard,” Jones said. “It feels like last year again.”

Jones said the conversation between players is about how to prevent the virus from preventing the resurgent Broncos, who hope to beat their farewell week at 6-4 this weekend with a win over the Eagles (3-6).

“Don’t eat out so often. Just try to avoid contact from outside as much as possible. Going out here with people you know. You just have to be in a little bubble, you have to,” Jones said.

The heightened concern at Broncos headquarters reflects growing unease in the larger community, where a rise in COVID-19 cases leaves parents fearing a return to distance learning and hospital beds filling up as they did at the start of the pandemic .

“We got into a routine of being back to normal,” Jones said, “…and now we kind of go back to that 2020 season, but like I said before, we have to do our part.”

Barring the unlikely scenario of Shurmur testing negative twice 24 hours apart before Sunday’s game, the Broncos will turn to Shula, who played for Cam Newton with the Carolina Panthers, where he served as offensive coordinator from 2013-17.

Schlottman is the fourth player to make the COVID-19 list this week, starting with backup quarterback Drew Lock, who tested positive for the virus when the team’s plane landed in Dallas last weekend. Lock learned during the flight that someone close to him had the virus, and he was isolated when the team landed in Texas, where he tested positive.

Bridgewater wore and tested a mask every day because he was in close contact with Lock’s. Bridgewater has been vaccinated and said on Wednesday he should “be free” to play Sunday as long as he continues to test negative.

The other Denver QB is Brett Rypien. Sluis is expected to return next week.

Lock joined the COVID/19 list on Monday and he was followed by cornerback Michael Ojemudia and inside linebacker Justin Strnad.

Two more players – tight end Noah Fant and backup guard Netane Muti – are on the exempt list as they return from stints on the reserve/COVID-19 list. They practiced all week.

Fangio said on Friday that all players who made it onto the reserve/COVID-19 list had been vaccinated but had breakthrough infections. The league required all coaches and team staff to be vaccinated and strongly encouraged players to do so.

Last year, Defense Coordinator Ed Donatell missed several weeks and was hospitalized with a severe case of COVID-19 before vaccinations were available.

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