Jaguars' QB Jake Luton Placed On COVID-19 Reserve List

Jacksonville Jaguars second year quarterback Jake Luton is one of the first NFL players to be placed on the COVID-19 Reserve list this year, as the league tightens their COVID protocols for the 2021 season.
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Jacksonville Jaguars second year quarterback Jake Luton has been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. 

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network first reported the news appeared on the wire. 

Luton and New York Giants wide receiver Kadarius Toney are the first two players to be placed on the list this season. It is not known if Luton has been vaccinated or not against COVID-19. 

On June 8, following the announcement that coaches would face a difficult job this season if unvaccinated, Head Coach Urban Meyer told reporters, "I don’t know exactly where we’re at, I’ll find out shortly. But we’ll adapt with whatever we have to.”

Being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list means players must remain essentially inactive for 10-14 days, and return a negative test before rejoining the team. However, in new league protocols announced Thursday, vaccinated individuals who test positive can return to the team if two negative tests are returned within 24 hours. 

The Jaguars are set to start training camp next Tuesday, July 27, with fans in attendance beginning Thursday. 

Luton saw significantly more action than originally anticipated as a rookie with the Jags. Once starter Gardner Minshew II was sidelined with a hand injury, Luton was named starter for three games, making his debut in Week 8 home matchup against the Houston Texans. 

In that loss, Luton went 26-38 passes for 304 passing yards and two total touchdowns (one rushing, one passing). His 306-yard performance marked the most passing yards by a rookie quarterback in their debut in franchise history. 

With the drafting of Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence No. 1 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Jags presumably have their new starting quarterback. Luton has spent OTA's and minicamp—and was expected to spend training camp—fighting for the backup spot alongside former starter Gardner Minshew and veteran free agent signing CJ Beathard. 

Passing game coordinator Brian Schottenheimer told reporters on June 16 that Luton had received the least amount of reps amongst all of the quarterbacks, but was still in the mix. 

"Our objective from day one was to build the best quarterback room that we could," said Schottenheimer at the time. "We knew what we had in Gardner [Minshew], C.J. [Beathard] was a guy that we really looked at on film and we saw him make a lot of plays and have some of the athleticism that we really like from our quarterbacks. 

"Jake Luton was a guy that was highly sought-after last year. I know we really liked him in Seattle when he came out and then of course, [when] you get a chance to add a Trevor Lawrence to the mix, you’re going to do that."

The Luton and Toney news comes as the league announced stringent protocols and subsequent penalties for teams who have unvaccinated players during the season. 

Among them, the NFL is telling teams that if a game can not be rescheduled during the 18 week schedule, due to an outbreak on a team amongst unvaccinated players, the team that forced the unplayed game will be forced to forfeit and will be credited with a loss that carries playoff implications. 

Furthermore, that team will carry the financial responsibilities to cover the lost game, as well as face possible fines from the Commissioner.