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NFL Institutes New Reserve/COVID-19 List

The National Football League has instituted a new reserve/COVID-19 list as it continues to deal with the ongoing pandemic.

At the beginning of the week, the NFL introduced a new type of transaction that will go into effect this season, that being a Reserve/COVID-19 list.

As most recently reported on Monday by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, 24 players have been placed on that list. To be on the list, however, does not mean that a player already has COVID-19. 

The Minnesota Vikings posted a full explanation on Monday about the list. It said the list was created for, “a player who either tests positive for COVID-19 or who has been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person or persons. If a player falls into either of these categories, their club is required to immediately place the player on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Per agreed upon NFL-NFLPA policy, clubs are not permitted to comment on player’s medical status other than referring to roster status. Clubs may not disclose whether the player is in quarantine or is positive for COVID-19.” 

There’s a lot to unpack with this. Maybe the most notable being that this statement doesn’t say how long a player will be on this list. Major League Baseball, for example, requires a player who has contracted the virus must receive two negative tests in a row before he can return.

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ESPN ran a report saying that players “may be activated from the list when they are healthy.” That doesn’t mean how long it will take before they are considered to be healthy. That will depend on how they have the virus and how much discretion the league uses in deciding when is the right time to bring a player back after he has received a positive test. 

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