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Mile High Morning: Resilience through adversity defines S Delarrin Turner-Yell's NFL journey


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Safety Delarrin Turner-Yell has emerged as a key special teams contributor and an important part of the Broncos' secondary depth in his second season in Denver, but his ascending NFL career is just part of his incredible story.

In a feature on the Go Long site titled "Delarrin Turner-Yell is the 'miracle' in Denver," journalist Tyler Dunne profiled Turner-Yell, his unbreakable bond with his mother, Denise Turner, and his journey from a premature birth to the NFL. Turner-Yell honored his mother and other relatives through the NFL's My Cause, My Cleats program with cleats that brought awareness to the Lupus Foundation of America and Multiple Sclerosis Society and also featured her name on both cleats.

"Some people try to run away from the hard times, but going back and reflecting on it really helps you out," Turner-Yell said in the feature. "I mean, it helps me out."

According to the feature, Turner-Yell was born prematurely at 26 weeks and weighed just three pounds and 13 ounces. Doctors told Turner that her son had just 24 hours left to live. Instead, Turner-Yell survived, and after a two-week hospital stay, Turner received permission to bring her son home. Still, doctors doubted that he'd develop normal motor skills — another opportunity for Turner-Yell to defy the odds and challenges in his path.

Turner told her son about his miraculous recovery just before he left for his freshman year at the University of Oklahoma, and he said he doesn't want to run away from the hard times and still reflects on his blessings early in life.

"This gives me that edge," Turner-Yell said. "… When I really think about what I went through to get here, it really makes me different. I'm 1 percent. Think about it: The doctors who've seen a lot, who know a lot literally come in and say, 'Okay, well this baby, we're giving him 24 hours to live.' So, they weren't guessing."

In high school, Turner-Yell became a star on the football field and started attracting Power Five offers, eventually committing to play for the Oklahoma Sooners. But his mother's battle with multiple sclerosis and lupus defined his time in high school just as much. Turner-Yell stayed by his mother's side in her battles with illness and calls her an inspiration.

"I saw how she handled her adversity with being sick, without a job, but still having to raise two kids," Turner-Yell said. "So that's part of the reason why when I am venting about something, I'm calling her because I know how she handles adversity. And I'm trying to take a page out of her book. If you haven't really been through anything, you don't really know how to respond or how to handle the adversity whenever it does hit, and I know she knows how to handle it [like] no other."

For more on Turner-Yell's miraculous story, click here.

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