Matt LaFleur dealing with roster roulette as COVID-19 ravages Packers

GREEN BAY – With COVID-19 continuing its tear through the Green Bay Packers’ locker room, coach Matt LaFleur is considering how to mitigate the virus’ toll on the team’s roster.

The Packers placed offensive lineman Ben Braden, receiver Amari Rodgers, and linebackers Tipa Galeai and Ty Summers on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday. They also placed defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Their inclusion to the list comes after five other players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list in the past week: receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, cornerback Kevin King, cornerback Shemar Jean-Charles, linebacker Chauncey Rivers and practice-squad linebacker La’Darius Hamilton.

LaFleur said he has stressed the importance of “masking up” and spacing out to his players. It hasn’t prevented COVID-19 from stressing the Packers’ roster. Now, LaFleur said, he’s considering taking even more extreme measures if the virus’ spread doesn’t slow.

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur looks on before the game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

“Certainly you’re trying to take every step to mitigate the risk,” LaFleur said, “especially within your building. We’re definitely going to look at how we can do that around here, just making sure that we mask up as a team when we’re inside, and then trying to keep people as spread out as possible. We’ve even contemplated potentially, if we get more of these, maybe even going to virtual meetings and then just showing up when we want to get together to go out on the field.

“We’ll look at everything, because we do know this, that the availability thing is real. When you have your football players available, I think we’re a pretty darn good football team, and we need to try to keep as many people available as possible.”

Each of the four players from their active roster placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday are backups. However, the…

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