- The NFL has enacted stricter COVID-19 protocols in the wake of outbreaks around the league
- Raiders-Browns, Eagles-Washington and Seahawks-Rams have been rescheduled
- A list of all the NFL players on the COVID List can be found below
In the wake of the rise of COVID-19 cases in the United States and rapid spread of the omicron variant, the NFL has updated its protocols – and rescheduled games.
The Las Vegas Raiders’ game at the Cleveland Browns originally scheduled for Saturday has been moved to Monday at 5:00 p.m. ET. Two of Sunday’s scheduled games – the Washington Football Team at the Philadelphia Eagles and the Seattle Seahawks at the Los Angeles Rams – have been rescheduled for Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. ET
The list of players who have been placed on the COVID-19/reserve list has continued to rise all week.
NFL Players on COVID List for Week 15
|Arizona Cardinals||C Rodney Hudson|
|Atlanta Falcons||OLB Emmanuel Ellerbe|
|Baltimore Ravens||C Trystan Colon|
|Baltimore Ravens||S Chuck Clark|
|Buffalo Bills||OT Dion Dawkins|
|Buffalo Bills||LB Tyrel Dodson|
|Carolina Panthers||QB Matt Barkley|
|Carolina Panthers||RB Christian McCaffrey|
|Chicago Bears||OL Larry Borom|
|Chicago Bears||CB Artie Burns|
|Chicago Bears||WR Isaiah Coulter|
|Chicago Bears||QB Andy Dalton|
|Chicago Bears||DL Mario Edwards Jr.|
|Chicago Bears||DL Eddie Goldman|
|Chicago Bears||LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe|
|Chicago Bears||DB Eddie Jackson|
|Chicago Bears||TE Jesse James|
|Chicago Bears||LB Sam Kamara|
|Chicago Bears||RB Ryan Nall|
|Chicago Bears||WR Allen Robinson II|
|Chicago Bears||DB Duke Shelley|
|Cincinnati Bengals||LB Clay Johnston|
|Cincinnati Bengals||CB Chidobe Awuzie|
|Cleveland Browns||S Grant Delpit|
|Cleveland Browns||LB Tony Fields II|
|Cleveland Browns||G Drew Forbes|
|Cleveland Browns||P Jamie Gillan|
|Cleveland Browns||CB C.J. Green|
|Cleveland Browns||S Ronnie Harrison Jr.|
|Cleveland Browns||CB Troy Hill|
|Cleveland Browns||TE Austin Hooper|
|Cleveland Browns||RB Kareem Hunt|
|Cleveland Browns||S John Johnson III|
|Cleveland Browns||QB Case Keenum|
|Cleveland Browns||WR Jarvis Landry|
|Cleveland Browns||QB Baker Mayfield|
|Cleveland Browns||DT Malik McDowell|
|Cleveland Browns||DE Takkarist McKinley|
|Cleveland Browns||DE Ifeadi Odenigbo|
|Cleveland Browns||LB Jacob Phillips|
|Cleveland Browns||G Wyatt Teller|
|Cleveland Browns||OT Jedrick Wills|
|Cleveland Browns||LB Mack Wilson|
|Dallas Cowboys||CB Nahshon Wright|
|Denver Broncos||RB Mike Boone|
|Denver Broncos||S P.J. Locke|
|Denver Broncos||OLB Malik Reed|
|Detroit Lions||DB Jalen Elliott|
|Detroit Lions||TE TJ Hockenson|
|Green Bay Packers||NT Kenny Clark|
|Houston Texans||C Justin McCray|
|Houston Texans||LB Kamu Grugier-Hill|
|Houston Texans||LB Christian Kirksey|
|Houston Texans||DB A.J. Moore|
|Houston Texans||DE DeMarcus Walker|
|Houston Texans||DB Terrance Brooks|
|Houston Texans||DB Terrance Mitchell|
|Indianapolis Colts||LB Zaire Franklin|
|Kansas City Chiefs||DT Chris Jones|
|Los Angeles Chargers||OL Scott Quessenberry|
|Los Angeles Chargers||OL Rashawn Slater|
|Los Angeles Rams||OT Tremayne Anchrum Jr.|
|Los Angeles Rams||WR Odell Beckham Jr.|
|Los Angeles Rams||Antoine Brooks Jr.|
|Los Angeles Rams||DB Terrell Burgess|
|Los Angeles Rams||DB Dont’e Deayon|
|Los Angeles Rams||OL Jamil; Demby|
|Los Angeles Rams||G Bobby Evans|
|Los Angeles Rams||S Jordan Fuller|
|Los Angeles Rams||CB Jake Gervase|
|Los Angeles Rams||OT Rob Havenstein|
|Los Angeles Rams||RB Darrell Henderson Jr.|
|Los Angeles Rams||LB Justin Hollins|
|Los Angeles Rams||TE Brycen Hopkins|
|Los Angeles Rams||DB JuJu Hughes|
|Los Angeles Rams||OT AJ Jackson|
|Los Angeles Rams||NT Sebastian Joseph-Day|
|Los Angeles Rams||LB Von Miller|
|Los Angeles Rams||TE Johnny Mundt|
|Los Angeles Rams||LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo|
|Los Angeles Rams||DB Kareen Orr|
|Los Angeles Rams||CB Jalen Ramsey|
|Los Angeles Rams||LB Troy Reeder|
|Los Angeles Rams||LB Christian Rozeboom|
|Miami Dolphins||S Jevon Holland|
|Miami Dolphins||RB Phillip Lindsay|
|Miami Dolphins||WR Jaylen Waddle|
|Minnesota Vikings||WR Dan Chisena|
|Minnesota Vikings||G Kyle Hinton|
|Minnesota Vikings||DE Danielle Hunter|
|Minnesota Vikings||WR Trishton Jackson|
|Minnesota Vikings||RB Alexander Mattison|
|Minnesota Vikings||RB A.J. Rose Jr.|
|Minnesota Vikings||WR Dede Westbrook|
|New York Giants||LB Cam Brown|
|New York Giants||DB Adoree’ Jackson|
|New York Giants||DB Natrell Jamerson|
|New York Giants||DB J.R. Reed|
|New York Giants||CB Aaron Robinson|
|New York Giants||WR John Ross|
|New York Giants||WR Kadarius Toney|
|New York Giants||LB Oshane Ximines|
|New York Jets||DB Justin Hardee|
|New York Jets||WR Elijah Moore|
|New York Jets||LB Hamsah Nasirildeen|
|New York Jets||WR Jeff Smith|
|New York Jets||QB Mike White|
|Philadelphia Eagles||RB Jason Huntley|
|Philadelphia Eagles||WR Quez Watkins|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||DE Montravius Adams|
|Seattle Seahawks||RB Alex Collins|
|Seattle Seahawks||WR Tyler Lockett|
|Tennessee Titans||S Jamal Carter|
|Tennessee Titans||WR Dez Fitzpatrick|
|Washington Football Team||DT Jonathan Allen|
|Washington Football Team||QB Kyle Allen|
|Washington Football Team||DB Troy Apke|
|Washington Football Team||DE William Bradley-King|
|Washington Football Team||CB Kamren Curl|
|Washington Football Team||LB Milo Eifler|
|Washington Football Team||S Darrick Forrest|
|Washington Football Team||DB Kendall Fuller|
|Washington Football Team||QB Taylor Heinicke|
|Washington Football Team||TE Temarrick Hemingway|
|Washington Football Team||LB Khaleke Hudson|
|Washington Football Team||DT Matt Ioannidis|
|Washington Football Team||C Keith Ismael|
|Washington Football Team||C Tyler Larsen|
|Washington Football Team||OT Cornelius Lucas|
|Washington Football Team||LB David Mayo|
|Washington Football Team||TE Sammis Reyes|
|Washington Football Team||DT Tim Settle|
|Washington Football Team||WR Cam Smith|
|Washington Football Team||RB Wendell Smallwood|
|Washington Football Team||DE James Smith-Williams|
|Washington Football Team||DE Montez Sweat|
|Washington Football Team||DE Casey Toohill|
|Washington Football Team||DT Daniel Wise|
NFL COVID Protocol Changes
The NFL is now requiring all team personnel, including players, to wear masks regardless of vaccination status.
The league is also requiring teams to hold meetings either remotely or in an outdoor setting, In-person meals have been stopped while restrictions have been added on activities outside team facilities, prohibiting outside visitors during team travel and limiting the amount of people in team weight rooms.
NFL statement on new COVID-19 protocols…. pic.twitter.com/QZLyNm0RMi
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 16, 2021
The updated protocols will be enforced through this week’s games. However, they are expected to continue and possibly be strengthened beyond that point.
Some Good News
On the bright side of the matter, the NFL and NFL Players Association, who are being advised by independent infectious disease experts, have developed a mechanism in the protocols that could lead to shorter stints on the sidelines for player testing positive.
Previously, a vaccinated player who tests positive must had to have two negative tests 24 hours apart and be asymptomatic before being cleared to return.
— Forbes (@Forbes) December 17, 2021
The new protocols relax that requirement a bit, allowing for two PCR tests or two Mesa tests — or one of each — being negative. The logistics for that could speed up the return of sidelined players.
Three Games Affected
As mentioned above, three games have been affected by the coronavirus.
That comes after the NFL played all games as scheduled through the first 14 weeks of the 2021 season. Every game was also played last season but 15 had to be rescheduled because of COVID-19 issues.
The Browns-Raiders game will be televised by NFL Network on Monday. The league rescheduled the game because of a coronavirus outbreak with the Browns.
If the game had not been changed, the Browns would have been without coach Kevin Stefanski, quarterback Baker Mayfield, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and at least a dozen regulars.
Mayfield isn’t happy with the league, though.
Baker speaks out on how the NFL is changing its COVID-19 testing protocols pic.twitter.com/otC7wr0g9t
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 16, 2021
The Browns could have their coach and all or at least most of the players back by Monday, dependent of course on test results.
The Browns opened as a 5.5-point favorites but that line has dropped to 2.5 points.
Washington has 21 players, including 17 on the active roster, on the COVID-19 list ahead of the Football Team’s game against the Eagles. Among them are starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke and backup Kyle Allen.
Heinicke and Allen could still play if they pass two tests this weekend and remains asymptomatic.
Heinicke got banged up in last week’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys but still found time to straighten up the place.
Wait, Taylor Heinicke was walking off the field and just saw a pair of SCISSOR LAYING IN THE GRASS????pic.twitter.com/mC5cLKFwUF
— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) December 12, 2021
Practice squad quarterback Kyle Shurmur would be in line to start if neither Heinicke nor Allen is available. The son of Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmer has never taken a snap in an NFL regular-season game.
The defense could be missing tackles Jonathan Allen and Matt Ioannidis, edge rushers Montez Sweat and James-Smith Williams and safety Kamren Curl.
The Eagles are seven-point favorites after opening as 3.5-point picks.
The Rams’ COVID list was up to as many as 25 players earlier in the week. While that number has dropped slightly, many key players are still on it.
Defensive back Jalen Ramsey heads a list that also includes linebackers Von Miller and Troy Reeder, wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., running back Darrell Henderson, safety Jordan Fuller and offensive tackle Rob Haverstein.
🐏 Jalen Ramsey – 85.3
A.J. Terrell – 83.4
Darius Slay – 83.0
Denzel Ward – 80.2 pic.twitter.com/4xUXfveYVr
— PFF (@PFF) December 8, 2021
The line has only moved slightly in the Rams-Seahawks game, though, from 6.5 points to 5.5.
Other Games Affected
New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton could miss Sunday night’s game at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If Payton is still in isolation, defensive coordinator Dennis Allen will assume head coaching duties.
Wide receiver Allen Robinson III, defensive tackle Eddie Goldman and cornerback Artie Burns are on the COVID list for the Chicago Bears ahead of their game against the visiting Minnesota Vikings on Monday night. The Bears could also be without all three coordinators.
The Buffalo Bills could be without offensive tackle Dion Dawkins on Sunday when they host the Carolina Panthers.