The current COVID-19 pandemic continues to plague the NFL. As of Monday evening, 521 players had been placed on the reserve / COVID-19 list in December alone, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. That’s almost one in four active players.
Worse yet, 476 of them have come since December 13. (For context, 428 players went to the COVID reserve all last season, from September 1 to Super Bowl LV). Many top players have missed games this season after testing positive for the virus, and more players will no doubt be running out of time in the final two weeks of the 2021 regular season.
A record 106 players were placed on the COVID roster on Monday, with several teams being hit hard. The Jaguars added the most players (10), the Raiders lost all three starting linebackers and the Chargers lost four defensive backs and have already ruled out three starters for Week 17 against the Broncos. Other big names added to the roster include Mike Evans of the Buccaneers, Julio Jones and Bud Dupree of the Titans, Brian Burns and Shaq Thompson of the Panthers and Matt Judon of the Patriots.
However, none of those moves were as important as the Colts placing quarterback Carson Wentz on the COVID reserve on Tuesday, putting his status in doubt for Indy’s showdown with the Raiders on Sunday. The other big news on Tuesday is that Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians has tested positive for COVID-19 and has isolated himself at home, according to the team. Assistant Head Coach Harold Goodwin assumes the duties of Head Coach in his absence.
The biggest news on Wednesday was that the Raiders placed Darren Waller on the COVID reserve. Waller has missed the last four games with a hip injury, but there was optimism that he would return to training to some extent this week. Now he’s on COVID protocols, which means Las Vegas could be without him again for his crucial AFC-Colts clash on Sunday.
(To note: On Tuesday, the NFL passed new COVID protocols that reduce the mandatory quarantine for positive players from 10 days to five days, with no “testing” required if players are asymptomatic. This applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated players.)
Here’s an updated look at each team’s current COVID-19 situation as Week 17 approaches, specifically which players are in the COVID pool:
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(To note: This list does not include players from the training team or injured reserve.)