ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Broncos offensive line coach Mike Munchak will isolate away from the team this week after he was placed in the league’s COVID-19 protocols.
This means that Munchak, 60, either came in close contact with a person who has the virus or tested positive himself. With Munchak away, offensive line assistant Chris Kuper, a former Broncos’ starting guard, will coach the team’s blockers. Some of the offensive linemen wore masks below their chin strips Wednesday, although some didn't. Rookie center Lloyd Cushenberry III wore both a blue surgical mask and a shield over his face mask.
The virus has spiked around the city of Denver and the Broncos are not immune. Broncos running backs coach Curtis Modkins was out nine days after he tested positive for the virus on October 17. Modkins returned to the team Monday. The next day, Munchak learned he was being placed in the COVID protocols.
A team source told 9NEWS that contract tracing showed Munchak and Modkins were unrelated cases. Broncos head coach Vic Fangio added Wednesday there has been more positive COVID tests among uemployees without the organization.
"Very few. It's been one or two in the last couple weeks not counting the Modkins one,'' Fangio said.
A source said all but a handful of NFL teams have had at least one staff employee test positive for COVID this season, although those are not publicized.
The NFL and players union recently put out a joint statement that said for the week of October 18-24, nearly 2,500 players and more than 5,300 personnel staff were administered daily COVID-19 tests. There were eight new players who tested positive and 11 personnel.
So the virus is still out there and now the Broncos are dealing with it directly.
Edge rusher Malik Reed was asked if the players have heightened concerned now that the virus has been creeping into their building.
“I don’t think so,'' Reed said in a sit-down interview with 9News on Wednesday. "Once we all decided to play this year we knew there were repercussions to playing and there was going to be instances where positive tests did happen. I guess it’s on the protocols the league has put in to take place.
"We’re in the season and we’re playing and I don’t think guys are scared right now. We’re just focused on playing and doing what we have to do to play.”
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