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Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said in a statement: “Kenny had a promising future on the football field, but more importantly, he was a great teammate whose smile and personality could light up the room. This is a tragic loss for our football team, and his family is in all of our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

McDaniels planned to meet with the media on Tuesday, the players’ day off. They’ll reconvene Wednesday to resume preparations for their game against Indianapolis at Invesco Field on Sunday.

McKinley was a second-year pro who played in eight games as a rookie in 2009 with seven kick returns for 158 yards before going on injured reserve with a left knee injury on Dec. 29, two days after he was hurt in a game at Philadelphia.

He recovered and participated in the team’s offseason workouts but got hurt again during the first week of training camp and was placed on IR on Aug. 5.

Several Broncos players were attending a fundraiser Monday night in honor of Williams but declined to comment on McKinley’s death.

Cornerback Champ Bailey and former NFL star John Lynch headlined the wine-tasting VIP event to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver, home of the Darrent Williams Memorial Teen Center.

The Broncos hustled out of their Dove Valley practice facilities Monday night, many of them headed to the charity event unaware of the latest tragedy to befall the franchise.

Several said as they left the event that they weren’t ready to talk about McKinley’s death.

At McKinley’s home in a subdivision in the southern Denver suburbs, a bouquet of flowers wrapped in purple was propped against the door Monday night.


AP Sports Writers Pete Iacobelli in Columbia, S.C., and Pat Graham and Associated Press Writers Ivan Moreno and Kristen Wyatt in Denver contributed to this story.