By Arnie Stapleton, The Associated Press
AURORA — Von Miller has the coronavirus and the NFL star wanted to come forward with his diagnosis to show people how serious the disease is.
“I’m going to do whatever I have to do to get thru this!” Miller wrote in an Instagram post Thursday night. “Take this seriously. It’s definitely FOR REAL.”
The Super Bowl MVP is the highest-profile American athlete to announce he’s contracted COVID-19. Last month, NBA star Kevin Durant was among several members of the Brooklyn Nets to test positive.
“Von wants to let everyone out there know it’s serious; it doesn’t just happen to old people in nursing homes,” agent Joby Branion told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Miller told KUSA-TV in Denver that he developed a cough a couple of days ago and when his nebulizer for his asthma didn’t clear things up, he decided to get tested for the coronavirus and the test came back positive Thursday.
“I’m in good spirits,” Miller told the TV station. “I’m not feeling sick or hurting or anything like that.”
The Broncos released a statement, saying Miller “elected to share his diagnosis publicly to emphasize that anyone can be afflicted with coronavirus.”
“Von is doing well and recovering at home in self-isolation. He remains under the care of team doctors, who are following all coronavirus treatment procedures to ensure a safe environment for Von and our community,” the team added.
Branion said that aside from his allergy to grass, the 31-year-old Miller is the picture of health.
“Von lives to take care of his health and his body and it hit him, too,” Branion said. “Hopefully, he’s like the 85 percent who kick this disease in the teeth in two weeks. But the bottom line is he got it, too.”
Brandion said Miller is in good spirits while quarantined at his home in the Denver area and that the Broncos linebacker plans to speak publicly about his diagnosis on Friday.
Branion said Miller went for a test after he began coughing a couple of days ago and consulted with the Broncos medical team.
“I’ve seen him a lot sicker after games. He’s allergic to grass and after he’s been inundated with pollen, he’s sounded worse,” Branion said.
Miller, who was recently a unanimous pick to the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 2010s, said on a conference call last week he trained in San Francisco before returning home to Colorado when the stay-at-home measures went into effect to contain the virus.
Branion said Miller isn’t sure how he became infected.
“He’s been home for a month. Now, is he in lock-down, lock-down? No, but he’s been sort of staying home,” Branion said. “What happened? We don’t know.
“But it can get you. It got him, and he’s Superman!”
Miller is the second active NFL player to acknowledge testing positive during the coronavirus pandemic that has sickened more than 2 million people worldwide, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths and sending millions into unemployment.
On Wednesday, Los Angeles Rams center Brian Allen said he tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks ago. New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton revealed last month that he tested positive for the virus. The Los Angeles Chargers last week revealed a positive test and symptoms for unidentified members of their organization.
And in Denver, three unidentified Colorado Avalanche players have tested positive for the coronavirus.