ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Five days through COVID-19 testing of the Broncos’ 80 players, the team has not reported a positive case, 9NEWS has learned.
So far, so good for the health of Broncos players. But as health experts would caution, there is a long way to go between now and the team’s regular-season opener September 14 against the Tennessee Titans.
The 80 Broncos players reported for training camp in two waves. The first group – rookies (led by first-round pick Jerry Jeudy), undrafted first-year and practice squad players (including Josh Watson), quarterbacks (Drew Lock, Jeff Driskel and Brett Rypien) and veterans who were allowed in early to rehabilitate injuries (Bradley Chubb, Bryce Callahan, Elijah Wilkinson, DeVante Bausby, Jake Butt, JuWann Winfree, Austin Fort) -- showed up last Thursday, July 23 for their first COVID-19 tests.
They tested again Friday, self-quarantined Saturday, tested again Sunday and then reported for physical exams on Monday.
None of these players tested positive during the pre-entry phase. They are now in the midst of taking the COVD-19 test for 14 consecutive days. These players got on the field for the first time for a light walk-through practice session Wednesday.
The rest of the Broncos veterans – players like Von Miller and Kareem Jackson, who had tested positive for COVID-19 during the offseason, and other stars like Courtland Sutton, Phillip Lindsay, Justin Simmons and Jurrell Casey – had their first COVID-19 tests on Tuesday.
The team reported no positive test results to the league office Wednesday. It speaks to the mountainous list of protocols and health precautions the Broncos have implemented at their UCHealth Training Center facilities.
But it mostly speaks to the players taking precautions against the novel virus before arriving at the team’s thoroughly sanitized headquarters.
As of Tuesday, the players union announced that 21 players across the league had tested positive.
Bronco veteran players were administered the COVID-19 test Tuesday and Wednesday and will take it again Friday before they allowed inside team headquarters for the first time for their physical exams on Saturday and Sunday.
The Broncos’ full squad is scheduled to be on the field for the first time Monday for a walk-through session.
One Broncos player, nose tackle Kyle Peko, decided to opt-out of the 2020 season because of concerns the coronavirus risk presents to himself and family. He and Buena Vista native Nate Solder, a tackle for the New York Giants, are among the 30 players who have taken the opt-out option as of Wednesday afternoon.
Players have until at least August 5 to decide whether to accept the season-ending opt-out option.
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