NFL adopts new reserve list exclusively for COVID-19 positive players
The NFL is all systems go right now. But obviously, the decision to push through with the upcoming 2020 season comes with many risks. Given that there are literally thousands of people players throughout the league, it’s nearly impossible to go 100% COVID-free. The league can’t magically heal players who get infected. But the next best thing is to enable teams to tap replacement players as easily as possible.
Based from a recent article posted by the Steelers Depot:
Officially distinguished as the reserve/Covid-19 list, six players from five different teams were immediately placed on it after it was created, including two members of the Cleveland Browns; running back Dontrell Hilliard and safety Jovante Moffatt. From the Browns’ website comes a description of the list:
This new reserve list category was created for a player who either tests positive for COVID-19 or who has been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person or persons. If a player falls into either of these categories, their club is required to immediately place the player on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Per agreed upon NFL-NFLPA policy, clubs are not permitted to comment on player’s medical status other than referring to roster status. Clubs may not disclose whether player is in quarantine or is positive for COVID-19.
With the new rule, teams can now easily promote practice squad players to their 53-man roster at any point up to 90 minutes before the kickoff of their next game. There is currently no minimum number of weeks a player must be on the list to be eligible to be reactivated.
The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) had previously listed that there were 59 known cases of players testing positive. During the weekend, 12 more rookies also tested positive for the virus.
The league expects the tally to go up even more once the regular season gets in full swing. In case a small outbreak occurs for any team, practice players should be prepared to fill in the shoes of their regular starters at any point in the season.
Full roster training camps are scheduled to commence on July 28, along with the regular season which will be starting on September 10.