DENVER (AP) — The Denver Broncos say defensive coordinator Ed Donatell won’t be at the game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday because of COVID-19 protocols.
That leaves head coach Vic Fangio without his top assistant on the sideline as he calls the defensive plays.
ESPN reported that Donatell wasn’t feel well Saturday and self-reported his illness and stayed home.
Under the league’s updated protocols, players or coaches who become ill are isolated even if they haven’t tested positive for COVID-19.
The Broncos also will be without offensive line coach Mike Munchak, who has been under COVID-19 protocols since Wednesday, and starting right guard Graham Glasgow, whose positive test led Fangio to postpone Friday’s on-field work to Saturday.
The Broncos had starting right tackle Demar Dotson and backup center/guard Austin Schlottmann self-isolate Friday after learning of Glasgow's infection.
They returned to work Saturday and were cleared to play Sunday after consecutive negative tests. Schlottmann will start in Glasgow’s place against the Chargers (2-4).
Fangio said he felt the Broncos (2-4) avoided a spread of the virus because they voluntarily stayed in the NFL’s enhanced COVID-19 protocols after running backs coach Curtis Modkins returned at the start of the week following his bout with COVID-19.
Those enhanced mitigation measures include increased distancing, remote team meetings and face shields in addition to nose-and-mouth coverings inside team headquarters.
The Chargers also reported a positive COVID-19 test during the week. They placed guard Ryan Groy on the league’s COVID-19 reserve list Thursday and canceled practice that day. They resumed practice Friday.
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