ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos were informed Saturday morning that running backs coach Curtis Modkins had tested positive for COVID-19.
A 25-year coaching veteran who is in his 13th NFL season and third as the Broncos’ running backs coach, Modkins tested positive even though he does not have symptoms associated with coronavirus. He will remain home and self-quarantine as the team travels Saturday to New England.
As a precaution, his son Jett Modkins, a Broncos’ coaching intern who lives with his father, will also miss the trip to New England, a source told 9NEWS. Jett Modkins has repeatedly tested negative for COVID-19 but because he is regularly in close contact with his father, he is considered high-risk and the Broncos are keeping him back.
It’s another blow to the team’s running backs room as starting tailback Melvin Gordon also will not travel to New England after he was diagnosed Friday with strep throat.
Per source, it is believed Modkins came in contact with a family member who had COVID-19. Modkins promptly reported his situation to the Broncos’ infection control officers, then self-isolated away from the Broncos’ facility for five days. He also went through daily PCR testing, the results of which continually came back negative.
Following protocols, Modkins returned after his 5-day isolation to coach his running backs on Wednesday. He was also coaching with the team Thursday and Friday – testing negative every day -- before he was informed early Saturday morning of his positive COVID-19 test.
Give credit to Modkins for following all the COVID-19 precautions, including immediately reporting he had been in contact with a perso who had COVID-19. The virus’ incubation period, it seems, outlasted the league’s precautionary safeguards.
Modkins, 49, is widely considered one of the league’s best assistant coaches. Besides his work with running backs – he helped the Broncos’ Phillip Lindsay develop from an undrafted prospect out of the University of Colorado to Pro Bowler who rushed for at least 1,000 yards in his first two seasons – Modkins was Buffalo’s offensive coordinator from 2010-12 and is expected to eventually draw strong consideration as an NFL head coaching candidate.
He is the first Broncos coach or player to test positive for COVID since training camp began August 14. Star defensive players Von Miller and Kareem Jackson tested positive during the offseason and the virus was detected with fullback/tight end Andrew Beck as he went through the entry-testing process in the days leading up to training camp.
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