The NFL formally announced the introduction of the reserve/Covid-19 list on Sunday. By the end of the day, six players were added to it. Another 18 players were announced as being placed on the list by the end of Monday. For 28 teams, the vast bulk of their rosters are scheduled to report for Covid-19 testing today, after which we should anticipate dozens more being added.
Up to this point, outside of a few teams, only rookies and quarterbacks have reported to training camp so far to be tested for a first time for Covid-19. The rest of the rosters report only on their assigned date, which is July 28.
As we wrote about yesterday, the Pittsburgh Steelers were among the teams to add at least one player to the reserve/Covid-19 list yesterday, doing so with first-year cornerback Arrion Springs, signed shortly before the 2020 NFL Draft after playing in the XFL.
He joins, among others, four members of the Minnesota Vikings, chief among them being first-round rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Tackle Blake Brandel, safety Brian Cole, and lineman Tyler Higby were the other three.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Miami Dolphins, both located in one of the hardest-hit states in the country, both added multiple players to the list today as well, seven in total between them. For the Dolphins, Blake Ferguson, Benito Jones and Cordrea Tankersley were placed on the temporary reserve list.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, also a Florida team, have so far placed only one player on the reserve/Covid-19 list, that being third-round rookie running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn. The San Francisco 49ers, the Chicago Bears, the Buffalo Bills, and the Indianapolis Colts were the other teams to add to the league’s 24 players on the reserve/Covid-19 list as of this writing.
These 18 are in addition to the original six, which included two members of the Cleveland Browns, among them running back Dontrell Hilliard. About a dozen or so teams have now been affected by this at the outset of their training camps, with the bulk of their rosters yet to be processed.
Of course, it’s important to distinguish that being placed on the reserve list does not mean that the player has tested positive for Covid-19. Players can also be placed on the list as a means of precautionary quarantine in the event that they have been found to have been in contact with a positive case or engaged in high-risk behavior.
The new reserve list was put together between the NFL and the NFLPA as a mechanism for allowing teams to address such issues as infections or necessary quarantining as they pop up. In-season, it will allow for the easy transference of quarantined players off the roster, to be temporarily replaced by a practice squad player until they are cleared, at which point they could be immediately reinstated.