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 Friday, the Vikings announced that…