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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 80 as of Wednesday 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, while Haden’s status is unknown for Pittsburgh’s showdown with the Ravens. Parsons’ status also remains up in the air, though it’s not likely he’ll suit up having tested positive and with the Cowboys’ regular season finale coming Saturday night against the Eagles. Cincinnati…

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