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NFL teams still set to play Sunday despite virus cases

New York, United States—The Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars remained scheduled to play NFL games on Sunday despite at least one player for each club being placed on the Covid-19 reserve list Saturday (Sunday Philippine time).

The Atlanta Falcons (left) offense lines up against the Carolina Panthers defense in the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 11, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. AFP
Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Cominsky, Baltimore defensive tackle Brandon Williams and Jacksonville defensive end Josh Mauro were put onto the list, which means either a positive test or close contact with someone who has tested positive.

In addition, 12 players from the Jaguars practice squad were placed onto the Covid reserve list after one tested positive, prompting the closing of the team training facility. 

The reserves are together and apart from active players during meetings and workouts.

Mauro had just completed a five-game ban for using performance-enhancing substances.

The Falcons (0-5) remain scheduled to play Sunday at Minnesota (1-4) while the Ravens (4-1) visit Philadelphia (1-3 with one drawn) and the Jaguars (1-4) entertain Detroit (1-3).

More testing and contact tracing is being conducted under NFL safety protocols that could have an impact on Sunday’s schedule.

ESPN and the NFL Network reported Saturday that the Patriots had placed starting right guard Shaq Mason, reserve defensive end Derek Rivers and injured rusher Sony Michel on Covid-19 reserve.

The Patriots (2-2) home game Sunday against Denver (1-3), postponed from last week over Covid-19 issues, also remains on the schedule.

Cominsky, 24, joined defensive tackle Marlon Davidson on the Falcons virus list while an assistant coach tested positive on Thursday, prompting the club to close its practice facility before reopening Friday.

Williams, who won’t play Sunday, did not test positive but had close contact with someone who did, according to the NFL Network.

Under NFL safety protocols, any “high risk” close contact person must be isolated for at least five days.

Williams, whose entire eight-year NFL career has been spent with the Ravens, has made 11 tackles in five games this season.

The Jaguars closed their practice facility and worked remotely as a precaution after the practice squad positive while more testing was conducted.

“Last night, we received results from our daily PCR testing that an individual on our practice squad tested positive for COVID-19,” the Jaguars said in a statement.

“After confirming the positive test later in the evening, our organization began working with the NFL to review contact tracing data while the player self-isolated.

“As a precautionary measure for today, we made the decision to conduct our football activities remotely while following NFL protocols and recommendations... We plan to play tomorrow’s game as scheduled.”

Topics: Atlanta Falcons , Baltimore Ravens , New England Patriots , Jacksonville Jaguars , National Football League , Sony Michel , COVID-19
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