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Mile High Morning: How one Broncos cheerleader and one former defensive lineman are facing COVID-19 challenges 


The Lead

Over the weekend, I found the most interesting Broncos-centric stories to be focused on two people connected to the organization — one as a cheerleader and one as a former Broncos defensive lineman — who have faced changed circumstances in their lines of work because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Via The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala, we begin with Gabriela Windey, a Broncos cheerleader who is also an ICU nurse at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora. In the article, she describes how her shifts have been affected by the novel coronavirus.

"We're all leaning on each other, and it really becomes a new normal kind of fast," she told Jhabvala. "All of health care is ever-changing because we're always trying to make sure we're doing things the best way, which comes with evidence-based practice and re-evaluating the way we're doing things. So we are used to change. But it is hard and, of course, this is different because of the seriousness of it and how many people it's affecting."

And in the midst of it all, she's still preparing for the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders' 2020 team audition process.

The other article, which is by Sean Keeler of The Denver Post, focused on former Bronco Darius Holland, who played for the team from 2003-04. Now Holland is a pastor at True Life Church.

Holland's line of work as a faith leader has also been upended by the disease, as his church has transitioned to online services via Zoom to ensure safe public health practices.

"Socially, we're not distant," Holland told Keeler. "We're still having relationships. It just looks different without the physical touch. … People still need to know they're loved. They still need to see hope and joy. That hasn't changed. It's just changed in that we have to do that differently. It's just about being a little bit more creative, about being a little bit more thoughtful as to how to do the work of the ministry."

Below the Fold

Diontae Spencer spoke with his hometown's newspaper to update them on how he's trying to stay active at home in Louisiana even as local gyms are closed and as the Broncos' workout program is delayed. Beyond that, though, is great background on Spencer's nearly five-year path from leaving college to finally making an NFL roster.

In a new mock draft from's Adam Rank, he makes the case for who each team should draft instead of who he thinks they will draft. For the Broncos, perhaps unsurprisingly, he picks Henry Ruggs III, who he thinks could be "a great replacement for Emmanuel Sanders."

ESPN's Jeff Legwold rated Dre'Mont Jones as the Broncos' top mid-to-late-round draft pick from 2019 and believes the 2020 season will provide a chance to make a bigger impact.

The Unclassifieds

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