ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur has tested positive for COVID-19 and is not expected to be available for Sunday’s game against the Eagles, said Head Coach Vic Fangio.
If Shurmur is unable to coach, Fangio said Quarterbacks Coach Mike Shula would communicate with Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater through the headset’s communication system.
The team later announced that Shula would be taking over from Shurmur with input from the rest of the offensive coaching staff.
Both Shula and Running Backs Coach Curtis Modkins have NFL experience as offensive coordinators.
Fangio did say he didn’t expect coaches who normally coach on the sidelines to go to the coaching booth.
Fangio said he learned of Shurmur’s test result from the team Friday morning before practice, and he later noted that Shurmur had been vaccinated. According to the NFL’s protocols for vaccinated individuals, Shurmur must return two negative tests 24 hours apart to return.
Even before Shurmur’s positive test, Fangio said the team had taken more measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We’re distant,” Fangio said. “We did that before all this. We went in [facility] and only the large rooms where everyone could be spread out.”
The Broncos have placed four players — QB Drew Lock, CB Michael Ojemudia, LB Justin Strnad and G Austin Schlottmann — on the Reserve/COVID-19 list since Sunday. Fangio said all four players had been vaccinated and tested positive with breakthrough cases. Closing is expected back on Monday, per Fangio.
Defensive end Dre’Mont Jones said the positives of late are a concern, noting that the team has discussed avoiding outside contact and being “in a small bubble”.
“I’m just trying to do my part,” Jones said. “Avoid it, wear my mask, do my due diligence.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was updated at 3:18pm MT to reflect the Broncos’ announcement that Mike Shula would be taking over from Pat Shurmur’s coaching duties.