Falcons Place Ex-Cal Safety Jaylinn Hawkins on Reserve/COVID-19 List

Jake Curtis

Former Cal safety Jaylinn Hawkins, who is now a rookie with the Atlanta Falcons, was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, it was announced earlier this week, according to Falcon Report.

Sports Illustated's Falcon Report also noted that being on this list does not necessarily mean that Hawkins tested positive for the virus.

Falcon Report reported on Monday that none of the Falcons' rookies tested positive for COVID-19. It's conceivable Hawkins tested positive the next day, but the NFL prohibits teams from disclosing whether a player tests positive for the virus or is in quarantine. It is also possible that Hawkins was merely exposed to the virus.

If the player tests positive but is asymptomatic, he can return after 10 days or after five days if he tested negative twice in a span of at least 24 hours during those five days.

If the player who tests positive has symptoms, he can return in 10 days after symptoms first appeared and he is symptom-free for at least 72 hours.

As part of their statement on Hawkins, the Falcons added this information on their website:

A five-day initial testing phase began for rookies on July 21, and they have been undergoing daily tests as part of the NFL's COVID-19 testing protocol. Atlanta's veterans began their five-day initial testing phase Tuesday morning. 

Hawkins was a fourth-round draft choice by the Falcons in the 2020 NFL draft, and there was speculation that he could get some playing time in a reserve role this season, especially since frontline Atlanta safeties have experienced injury problems in recent years. How this latest development affects Hawkins' ability to compete for playing time this year is unclear.  It certainly cannot help.

Here is the 2020 outlook on Hawkins provided by Falcon Report:

Profiled as a versatile safety who may even be able to slide out as a dime corner, Hawkins is likely primed to compete for a backup defensive back/special teams type role in 2020 as Damontae Kazee, Ricardo Allen, and Keanu Neal are in place to lead the Falcons' safety unit for Dan Quinn this season.

Here is the profile of Hawkins provided by the Falcons on their website:

He is expected to add depth to a Falcons safety unit that has dealt with some impactful injuries during the previous two seasons, and he has the type of ball-hawking reputation that Atlanta covets. During his final season at Cal, Hawkins recorded 56 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks, two pass breakups and a team-high three interceptions. In his entire career, Hawkins totaled 158 tackles, 17 pass defenses, 10 interceptions, 9.5 tackles for a loss and three forced fumbles.

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