BOSTON — The Broncos’ game against the New England Patriots has been moved – again.
The Broncos and Patriots will play next Sunday after New England closed its facility this morning following a fourth positive coronavirus test.
“The decision was made to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel and in consultation with medical experts,” the league said in a statement.
Coach Vic Fangio said he was notified by the league office around 6:45-7 a.m. Sunday. The Broncos were scheduled to fly to the East Coast this afternoon.
“Initially, I knew it was a possibility,” Fangio said during a video conference call. “You know, it’s just part of the COVID season here that we’re playing within. There are going to be adjustments that have to be made — they’re going to happen late, they’re going to happen when you may not be prepared. I was prepared for this. We’ll just roll with the punches and adjust. My initial message to the team all the way back in training camp was this was going to be an improvise and adjust season.”
Fangio said he has not received any other schedule changes for the Broncos’ season from the league. But today will be their bye week. The players will be off until Wednesday.
“Professional athletes and professional football players in particular handle adversity very well and when the schedule has to change and the routine has to change, they all take a deep breath, take a sigh, analyze it and move on,” Fangio said. “We all do like our routines — most coaches and most players like their routine and know what’s happening weeks in advance, but that’s not going to be the case this year and I think we’ve all accepted that.”
Fangio said it is incorrect to place blame on the Patriots.
“All this stuff is going to be seem unfair when you’re initially hit with it,” he said. “We prepared for a game and first it got moved a day and now it’s being moved totally. It’s going to seem unfair and you’re going to ask, ‘Why are we doing this?’ My message to (the team) and anybody is we were inconvenienced by this, but it could very easily be flipped around to where we had the positive tests and the Patriots were inconvenienced. I’m happy the positive tests weren’t in our building, but I’m under no illusion we may have a positive test or two at some point and be the cause of a game being moved down the road.”
The Broncos have not had a positive COVID-19 test since fullback-tight end Andrew Beck early in training camp.
“I think our players have done great,” Fangio said. “It’s been an inconvenience for everybody and sometimes, what we’re asking them to do and not do seems trivial and unnecessary, but when you’re dealing with this, you have to go to extremes and the guys have accepted it and, knock on wood, we’ve been free of the virus in this building. There’s no guarantee we’ll be able to keep that streak going, but we’re going to try like hell.”