ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –Though still recovering from aortic valve replacement surgery in his Charlotte, N.C., home, Head Coach John Fox was able to spend some time with the Broncos Monday.
Before heading into team meetings, Fox and the Broncos spoke via video chat for what Interim Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio estimated was about 10 minutes.
"We got some face time with Coach Fox and the team today," Del Rio said. "Skype, FaceTime, whatever you want to call it, we had him on the big screen with the team. He was able to visit with the team, take questions. He looked great, full of energy. Players, coaches, everybody got a lift seeing him and seeing his spirit – how fired up he was to be able to talk to everybody."
Del Rio said Fox took questions from players asking about how he was feeling and the process of his rehabilitation.
"He banged on his chest and said, 'I'm doing great,'" Del Rio said. "He said he walked two miles today. Things like that. Just to see his face beaming, just so happy to be visiting with the guy. It was cool."
Chris Harris Jr. added that Fox was smiling the whole time and that he was "looking good."
"I'm just glad that he's getting healthy," Harris Jr. said.
Defensive end Malik Jackson agreed that it was good to see Fox and joked that he was impressed with Fox's house, saying, "hopefully we get the tour soon."
But in all seriousness, Jackson added that Fox was his normal, upbeat and energetic self.
Dr. Eric Skipper, the Medical Director of Adult Cardiac Surgery at the institute that performed Fox's surgery, said earlier this month that timetables for return to work for patients that undergo aortic valve replacement will vary based on the individual. But he added that "once you're able to fulfill the requirements of the job, you're able to go back to work," with the only exception being the necessity of avoiding heavily lifting for 10 weeks.
As Fox continues to recover, the Broncos are taking care of the heavy lifting, as they have in the two games without him. And they are hoping to keep that success going through his return.
"You know, he was smiling the whole time and it seemed like he was back to his old self," Jackson said. "We can't wait to get him back in the next few weeks. We just have to keep winning and keep the ship rocking while he's away."