Wednesday, January 26, 2022

NFL COVID-19 tracker, Week 17: Kirk Cousins, Darren Waller among more than 170 players on COVID list

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to plague the NFL. As of Monday night, 521 players had been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list in December alone, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. That’s nearly one in four active players.

Even worse is that 476 of those have come since Dec. 13. (For context, 428 players went on COVID reserve all of last season, Sept. 1 to Super Bowl LV). Many high-profile players have missed games this season after testing positive for the virus, and more players will undoubtedly miss time during the final two weeks of the 2021 regular season.

A record 106 players were placed on the COVID list Monday, with several teams getting hit hard. The Jaguars added the most players (10), the Raiders lost all three starting linebackers, and the Chargers went down four defensive backs and already ruled out three starters for Week 17 versus the Broncos. Other big names added to the list include the Buccaneers’ Mike Evans, the Titans’ Julio Jones and Bud Dupree, the Panthers’ Brian Burns and Shaq Thompson, and the Patriots’ Matt Judon.

However, none of those moves were as significant as the Colts placing quarterback Carson Wentz on COVID reserve Tuesday, putting his status in doubt for Indy’s showdown with the Raiders on Sunday. The other big news from Tuesday is that Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians tested positive for COVID-19 and has been isolating at home, per the team. Assistant head coach Harold Goodwin is taking over head coaching duties in his absence.

The biggest news Wednesday was the Raiders placing Darren Waller on COVID reserve. Waller has missed the past four games with a hip injury, but there was optimism he would return to practice in some capacity this week. Now, he’s in COVID protocols, meaning Las Vegas could be without him again for its crucial AFC showdown with the Colts on Sunday.

On Thursday, the Vikings announced that quarterback Kirk Cousins is in COVID protocols and will miss the pivotal “Sunday Night Football” matchup against the Green Bay Packers. Washington also placed running back Antonio Gibson on the reserve/COVID-19 list. 

(Note: On Tuesday, the NFL adopted new COVID protocols that reduce the mandated quarantine for positive players from 10 to five days, with no “test out” 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 we head into Week 17, specifically which players are on COVID reserve: 

Arizona Cardinals 

Atlanta Falcons 

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Baltimore Ravens 

Buffalo Bills 

  • None

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears 

Cincinnati Bengals 

Cleveland Browns 

Dallas Cowboys 

Denver Broncos 

Detroit Lions 

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans 

Indianapolis Colts 

Jacksonville Jaguars 

Kansas City Chiefs 

  • None

Las Vegas Raiders 

Los Angeles Chargers 

Los Angeles Rams 

Miami Dolphins 

Minnesota Vikings 

New England Patriots 

New Orleans Saints 

New York Giants 

New York Jets 

Philadelphia Eagles 

Pittsburgh Steelers 

San Francisco 49ers 

Seattle Seahawks 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Tennessee Titans 

Washington Football Team 

(Note: This list does not include players on practice squad or injured reserve.)

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