John Fox set for Monday return

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos head coach John Fox is spending Thanksgiving at his Denver home and is scheduled to return to work at the team's south suburban complex Monday.

Although his schedule remains somewhat unclear, initial plans are for Fox to either be on the sideline or in the coaches' box for Denver's game on Dec. 8 against the Tennessee Titans.

The Broncos released a statement Thursday, saying they are "confident" that Fox is medically fit to return to coaching.

"John Fox has been cleared by doctors to return as head coach of the Denver Broncos beginning Monday," the team's statement said. "We are very pleased that his recovery from a heart procedure on Nov. 4 has progressed so well.

"Our organization is confident that his health will allow him to meet his head coaching responsibilities. While no formal restrictions will be placed on his workload upon return, he will continue to be monitored by our medical staff as his well-being remains our No. 1 priority."

Fox is recovering from open-heart surgery earlier this month to have his aortic valve replaced. The Broncos are being coached by Jack Del Rio in his absence and are 2-1 with the defensive coordinator serving as interim coach.

Fox had been at his home in Charlotte, N.C., until Wednesday, when he returned to Denver on Broncos owner Pat Bowlen's private jet. He didn't attend Thursday's practice, but came to the Broncos' complex and spoke to the team following the workout.

"We had our leader return (Thursday) to say hello," Del Rio said. "We invited him to come see us so we wouldn't all have to go over to his house … We're all excited to have him back. It was great he addressed the team."

"(He) talked about how proud he is of what we're doing," Del Rio said. " … Talked about next week being there after this weekend, talked about us doing nothing but getting ready for the Chiefs this weekend and that's what we'll do." Del Rio said Fox will not travel to Kansas City.

As far Fox's schedule upon returning to the job Monday, Del Rio said; "We kind of stay in the day-to-day world that we exist in … we know he won't go to Kansas City and we need to go take care of business. I'm sure we'll get into that when it's appropriate."

The third-year Broncos coach has been in daily contact with Del Rio and has regularly texted or called the team's captains in recent weeks, including quarterback Peyton Manning.

Manning said this week that he has had "a healthy amount" of contact with Fox.

"Lot of text messages," Manning said. "A couple phone conversations early in the week ... He's given me tips and reminders, things he thinks I need to work on, things he thinks the offense needs to work on, and those have always been very helpful."

Fox has been sent the coaches' video after each of the Broncos' past three games, and the team's video department has sent him the practice video each day to review.