ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — After the Broncos cancelled practice Wednesday due to a recent increase in COVID-19 cases, Head Coach Vic Fangio said that while he is concerned about the uptick, he feels confident in the team's protocols at UCHealth Training Center.
"There's always concern, but the thing I really feel good about is that none of the positive tests that we've had have originated from this building," Fangio said. "It's all happened in the guys' or the coaches' daily lives outside the building where they get it. So, I actually feel better when everybody's here than I do when they're not here. We've done a good job of keeping this building clean. Our medical people have done well, the people in charge of the facilities have gone overboard in making this place safe and I feel really confident in saying that all the positive tests that we've had originated from outside these walls."
Fangio's comments echo those made by NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills on Tuesday, following the Broncos' announcement that President/CEO Joe Ellis and President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway tested positive for COVID-19.
Denver held virtual meetings and did not practice on Wednesday in the wake of those results, and they placed a practice squad player on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
"It was in consultation between us and the league," Fangio said, "and we just felt like it was the best thing to do in light of the number of [positive] tests that we've had recently."
The Broncos placed Graham Glasgow on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday, and both Offensive Line Coach Mike Munchak and Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell did not coach on Sunday due to COVID-19 protocols.
Fangio said he expected Munchak to be at the Broncos' practice when they return to the field on Thursday.
"We will practice tomorrow unless something happens between now and then to change it," Fangio said.
Fangio said he has not made a decision about how he would adapt the team's practice schedule. The team practiced Saturday ahead of their win over the Chargers after cancelling Friday's practice.
"Particularly on a Friday, you don't want to have them out there too long with the game being 48 hours away," Fangio said. "You don't want to work them on a Friday — even though we practiced last Saturday, the tempo was a lot different than it would have been on Friday. So, this is all new for everybody. We're adjusting, and whatever we figure out that we think is the best to do for that particular day or week, we'll do."
Fangio said that while the interruptions to the schedule have been difficult, the team has continued to adapt.
"It's distracting [and] it's not ideal," Fangio said. "I'd be lying to say that it wasn't. But, we're of the mindset at the start of this year knowing that we were going to have to do some improvising and adjusting. We've done well with it so far — you know, when you first get the news that you can't get in to practice, you're a little bit pissed off and everything, but you take a few minutes and take a deep breath and figure out how we're going to beat it and get over this, and that's what we do."
As the Broncos approach Week 9, they'll aim to handle the adversity as well as they did in Week 8, when they stormed back for a 31-30 comeback win.