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Return to Detroit emotional for Team Chaplain Luther Elliss


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — **Sunday's game in Detroit offers a bit of a homecoming for former Lion and current Broncos Team Chaplain Luther Elliss. Though he ended his NFL career in Denver, nine of his 10 years were spent in Detroit, and the Motor City will always have a special place in his heart.

"It's something I had already circled and highlighted on my game schedule, but I think as we get closer and actually arrive in Detroit and then actually walk out onto the field, the emotions will really hit me," Elliss said. "Just because when you spend the majority of your career somewhere, so much time and just passion there, to come here from last year and to have my two teams butting heads, it's going to be emotional. It's going to be one of those games where I'm going to have to contain myself and not get too hyped."

The Broncos finished their week of practice on Friday, preparing for Sunday's game in Detroit.

A former two-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman, Elliss is unique in his position as the Broncos' chaplain.

"Compared to maybe some other chaplains, I have played this game," Elliss said. "I have been through that. I've been through the highs and lows and those types of things, and being able to relate to the guys, I think, is very key."

But Colorado has also been a place that he has called home. Elliss grew up in Mancos, Colorado, so coming back to the Broncos has been a homecoming in its own right.

"I'm grateful to Gary and John and everybody in the Broncos organization for allowing me to come in, because I think it is a position that's needed throughout the league," Elliss said.

The impact was immediate. A few players met with Elliss as soon as he settled into his office.

"That was very, one, comforting, but, two, also kind of shocking because here I am, first day, and a couple guys are already coming to visit with me," Elliss said.

"We have a great team, great group of character guys and guys that really do care and they are very passionate about this game and passionate about being a Bronco," he added. "And I think that carries over into how we play and the things that we do, and it has to be. To me, this game — you can't play without that emotion, you can't play without that passion."

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