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OC Pat Shurmur expected to miss #PHIvsDEN due to COVID-19 protocols


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur has tested positive for COVID-19, and he is not expected to be available for Sunday's game against the Eagles, according to Head Coach Vic Fangio.

If Shurmur is unable to coach, Fangio said Quarterbacks Coach Mike Shula would communicate with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater via the headset communication system.

The team later announced that Shula would assume Shurmur's duties with input from the rest of the offensive coaching staff.

Both Shula and Running Backs Coach Curtis Modkins have NFL experience as an offensive coordinator.

Fangio did say that he did not expect any coaches that typically coach on the sideline would move up to the coaching booth.

Fangio said he learned of Shurmur's test result on Friday morning before the team's practice, and he later noted that Shurmur was vaccinated. Under the NFL's protocols for vaccinated individuals, Shurmur must return two negative tests separated by 24 hours in order to return.

Even before Shurmur's positive test, Fangio said the team had taken increased measures to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

"We're spaced out," Fangio said. "We've been doing that even before all this. We went into the indoor [facility] and only the big rooms where everybody could be spaced out."

The Broncos have placed four players — QB Drew Lock, CB Michael Ojemudia, LB Justin Strnad and G Austin Schlottmann — on the Reserve/COVID-19 list since Sunday. Fangio said all four players were vaccinated and had tested positive with breakthrough cases. Lock is expected back on Monday, per Fangio.

Defensive end Dre'Mont Jones said the recents positives are a concern, and he noted that the team has discussed avoiding outside contact and being "in a little bubble."

"I'm just trying to do my part," Jones said. "Avoid it, wear my mask, do my due diligence."

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated at 3:18 p.m. MT to reflect the Broncos' announcement that Mike Shula would assume Pat Shurmur's coaching duties.

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