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GM John Elway, CEO Joe Ellis test positive for COVID-19

Team hit hard with three coaches, one player contracting virus
GM John Elway, CEO Joe Ellis test positive for COVID-19
Posted at 10:48 AM, Nov 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-03 16:37:13-05

DENVER, Colo. — Broncos CEO Joe Ellis and General Manager John Elway have tested positive for COVID-19 as the virus continues to hit the organization hard.

Ellis woke up not feeling well last Sunday and missed his first Broncos home game in 26 years, watching from home as a precaution. Elway began experiencing symptoms on Monday, alerted the medical staff and left UCHealth Training Center immediately. Elway and Ellis learned of their test results on Tuesday morning. They are feeling well, other than minor symptoms, the team said.

The Broncos have gone through contact tracing and determined that the Ellis and Elway cases were independent of one another. They believe both cases originated outside the building. According to the team, there were minimal close contacts identified for each and none included coaches or players. Those in close contact have been notified.

Ellis and Elway have been tested daily since training camp began in August.

GM John Elway, CEO Joe Ellis test positive for COVID-19

The Broncos have experienced a rash of positive tests beginning 17 days ago with running backs coach Curtis Modkins, which placed the team in intensive protocols that they have not lifted. Those protocols include virtual meetings and mask wearing for players on the field when helmets are off. Modkins has returned to work.

However, defensive coordinator Ed Donatell, offensive line coach Mike Munchak and starting right guard Graham Glasgow have been isolated because of COVID-19. The organization has also had multiple staff employees test positive.

During a Tuesday conference call, Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL's Chief Medical Officer, called the several positive cases for the Broncos "certainly a concerning situation for us." The league has maintained contact with the Broncos over the last two-plus weeks, saying Denver has cooperated and "done an excellent job" with its intensive protocols, which they have remained in since Modkins' positive test.

"At this point, we feel there’s not ongoing transmission among the players," Sills said.

Broncos coaches are working remotely today as they begin game preparations for Sunday's game at Atlanta. The next few days will be important for Broncos because of travel and being in close quarters on the airplane. If a player is not feeling well -- even without a positive test -- he is not allowed to travel. So being healthy as of Saturday is critical.