Jack Del Rio had a big Thanksgiving Day surprise for his team.
John Fox joined the players and coaches for their post-practice huddle on the football field Thursday. Amid hails, hugs and handshakes, he told them how thankful he was for his health, their hard work and his good friend Del Rio for running things while he was recovering from open-heart surgery.
“I believe there couldn’t have been a better message on a better day,” safety David Bruton said.
Of course, Fox also took the opportunity to do some coaching, imploring his players to focus on beating the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend so that when he officially returns to work Monday, he’ll have a first-place team awaiting him.
It hasn’t been determined whether Fox will coach from the sideline or the booth for his first game back, when the Broncos host the Tennessee Titans on Dec. 8. The team issued a statement Thursday saying that “while no formal restrictions will be placed on his workload upon his return, he will continue to be monitored by our medical staff as his well-being remains our No. 1 priority.”
It’s been less than a month since Fox had his heart operation.
Around the league
San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman says wide receiver Michael Crabtree is progressing well in practice and the team hopes he can play against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. … Antonio Cromartie did not practice for the second day in a row because of an ailing hip, and the New York Jets cornerback’s status remains uncertain for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. Wide receiver Santonio Holmes (foot and hamstring) and tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. (knee) also did not practice.
London dates for 2014 set
The NFL has announced the dates of its three regular-season games in London next year, with the Dallas Cowboys playing the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 10 on Nov. 9.
The first game will be played in Week 4 on Sept. 28, with the Oakland Raiders facing the Miami Dolphins.
A month later, in Week 8, the Atlanta Falcons will play the Detroit Lions on Oct. 26.
All the games will be played at Wembley Stadium.
The NFL has been playing regular-season games at Wembley since 2007.