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Broncos' Shelby Harris placed on COVID reserve for close contact

Harris reported he was exposed to someone outside the team facility who later tested positive. He is third player to be placed on COVID reserve in last six days.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Shelby Harris is a very good defensive lineman and in good health.

He’s also responsibly mature.

One of the Broncos’ best defensive players, Harris reported to the team’s medical staff Tuesday that he had been exposed to someone outside the team’s facility who later tested positive for coronavirus.

Although Harris has continued to test negative, the Broncos placed him on the league’s COVID-19 reserve list Wednesday and his status for the game Sunday in Atlanta is in jeopardy.

The virus has hit the Broncos with force the past 2 ½ weeks. In that time, the team has placed three assistant coaches (Curtis Modkins, Mike Munchak and Ed Donatell) and three players (starting right guard Graham Glasgow, practice squad offensive tackle Darrin Paulo and Harris) in the COVID-19 protocols.

Modkins returned to the team last week and Munchak is scheduled to return Thursday.

Additionally, top executives Joe Ellis and John Elway have tested positive as have multiple staff employees. Director of player personnel Matt Russell, Elway’s right-hand man, and a few other football staff members have been ordered to stay at home for a few days as a precaution to contact with Elway.

Harris has been the Broncos’ most consistent defensive lineman the past four years. He led the NFL with 9 pass swats at the line last year while also compiling 6.0 sacks.

He has three pass deflections and 2.5 sacks this year. Harris' dilemma explains why the Broncos' practice squad protected list this week included defensive linemen Darius Kilgo and Deyon Sizer.

Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) runs as Denver Broncos defensive end Shelby Harris (96) pursues during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Denver.

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