Thursday, January 27, 2022

NFL COVID-19 tracker, Week 18: Justin Fields among 75-plus players on COVID list; Diontae Johnson activated

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to interrupt the NFL season. There were 521 players placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list from Dec. 1-27, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, and 476 of those came on or after Dec. 13. (For context, 428 players went on COVID reserve all of last season, Sept. 1 to Super Bowl LV).

But since the NFL and NFLPA adopted new COVID protocols on Dec. 28 — reducing the mandated quarantine for positive players from 10 to five days — the number of players on COVID reserve has been declining, going from more than 230 last week to fewer than 85 as of Thursday afternoon.

That’s not to say every team will avoid COVID disruptions as the NFL enters the final week of the regular season and then gears up for the playoffs. On Monday, several Eagles starters were among 12 players placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. On Tuesday, the Bengals added four players, including Pro Bowl edge rusher Trey Hendrickson. But under the new rules, all of these players will be able to return for their team’s game this weekend (if healthy).

Some of the biggest names to go on COVID reserve this week came Wednesday, when the Bengals added Pro Bowl running back Joe Mixon, the Steelers added veteran cornerback Joe Haden and the Cowboys added rookie phenom Micah Parsons. Mixon will be out Sunday vs. the Browns, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, as will Parsons for Saturday night’s game against the Eagles, according to head coach Mike McCarthy Haden’s status is unknown for Pittsburgh’s showdown with the Ravens, but the Steelers could really use him back as it tries to make the postseason with a win over its rival and some outside help.

The Cowboys and Steelers each lost two more starters to COVID on Thursday, with cornerback Anthony Brown and Tyron Smith going on the list for Dallas and wide receiver Diontae Johnson and rookie center Kendrick Green doing so for Pittsburgh but Johnson was quickly removed from the list on Friday. Elsewhere, quarterback Justin Fields was supposed to return to the starting lineup after a two-game injury absence, but he landed on COVID reserve Thursday, likely ending his rookie campaign.

Here’s an updated look at each team’s current COVID-19 situation as we head into Week 18, 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 

  • None

Los Angeles Rams 

  • None

Miami Dolphins 

Minnesota Vikings 

New England Patriots 

New Orleans Saints 

New York Giants 

  • None

New York Jets 

Philadelphia Eagles 

Pittsburgh Steelers 

San Francisco 49ers 

Seattle Seahawks 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

  • None

Tennessee Titans 

  • None

Washington Football Team 

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

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