West Rumors: Broncos, Bell, Rams

Broncos running backs coach Curtis Modkins will not travel with the team to New England for the rescheduled Broncos-Patriots game due to a positive COVID-19 test, the team announced Saturday. Modkins, 49, is in his third season as Denver’s running backs coach. He is not experiencing symptoms from the virus, according to the team, which has performed the customary contact tracing after this positive test. The former Bills and 49ers offensive coordinator is a holdover from the Vance Joseph regime and has been retained despite the Broncos changing OCs the past two offseasons. Modkins has been an NFL assistant since the 2008 season. Modkins’ son, Jett, is a Broncos intern and lives with his father. Jett Modkins will not make the trip either, Troy Renck of Denver7 notes. The Broncos will also be without Melvin Gordon from their backfield mix Sunday.

Here is the latest from the West divisions:

  • Le’Veon Bell‘s Chiefs deal will come with a $1MM base salary, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. The Dolphins were believed to be offering more money and potentially a multiyear deal, but another report indicated Miami did not dangle two years in its Bell proposal. Bell will have around $1MM more available to him through incentives. One of those incentives will be based around Bell’s workload. Bell’s Chiefs contract, to some degree, lessen the Jets’ burden. They owed the former All-Pro back approximately $6MM after releasing him after five games.
  • Another team’s running backs coach will be out of action as well. Rams RBs coach Thomas Brown blew out his Achilles’ tendon during practice Thursday, Sean McVay confirmed. In his first season as an NFL assistant, Brown joined the Rams’ staff this offseason. The 34-year-old position coach will undergo surgery next week.
  • Drew Lock is set to return as the Broncos‘ quarterback Sunday. He will have far from his optimal group of skill-position players. Phillip Lindsay will play; so will Jerry Jeudy. However, Denver will be down Noah Fant and K.J. Hamler. Fant suffered an ankle injury in Denver’s win over the Jets more than two weeks ago; Hamler reinjured the hamstring he pulled during training camp. Lock was able to target Courtland Sutton when he last played (Week 2), but Denver’s No. 1 wide receiver is out for the season with an ACL tear. Lock will have a difficult task against the Patriots, who will have Stephon Gilmore back after his stay on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list.
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