Del Rio: Fox still in ICU, but in ‘good spirits’

Updated: November 7, 2013, 5:09 PM ET

Jeff Legwold |

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Many with the Denver Broncos weren’t quite sure how coach John Fox would do when doctors took his cellphone away following his open heart surgery.

But Fox got it back Thursday for a bit. Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio said he spoke with Fox earlier in the day and found his longtime friend and coaching associate to be tired, but in “good spirits.”

“I got to speak with John this morning for about 20 minutes on the phone, he sounded great,” Del Rio said. “He’s still in ICU and his spirits are really good. He was a little tired. Obviously he’s gone through quite a bit, his body has been put through quite a bit.”

Del Rio said Fox was ready with questions about how things were going as the team prepares for Sunday’s game in San Diego. Fox remains in the intensive care unit of a Charlotte, N.C.-area hospital following Monday’s surgery to replace his aortic valve.

“But he’s in great spirits and he’s healing,” Del Rio said. “We talked for a good bit, he obviously was wanting to talk about the team and how everyone was doing. I told him everybody was doing great and working to make him proud.”

Fox is on leave of absence after experiencing dizziness and light headedness during a round of golf Saturday. After being taken to the hospital for a battery of tests, doctors scheduled Fox’s surgery for Monday. Fox is expected to be out as long as 10 weeks during his recovery.

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning said Wednesday he had spoken to Fox on Saturday and Sunday as well as speaking to Fox’s wife, Robin, on Tuesday.

  • Covered Broncos for nine years for Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News
  • Previously covered Steelers, Bills and Titans
  • Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame Board
    of Selectors since 1999

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