Sports

NFL COVID-19 tracker, Week 16: Quenton Nelson, Dalvin Cook among more than 170 players on COVID list

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to plague the NFL. Since the start of last week, 213 players have tested positive for COVID-19, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. That’s almost 10% of the league.

Dozens of high-profile players have missed games this season after testing positive for the virus, and more players will undoubtedly miss time during the final three weeks of the 2021 regular season.

Fifty-one players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday, including three starters from the Chiefs (TE Travis Kelce, K Harrison Butker, CB Charvarius Ward) and seven Chargers players, including C Corey Linsley and DE Joey Bosa. There’s also a chance that the Lions could be without QB Jared Goff, who went on COVID reserve after tossing three touchdowns in a big upset win over the Cardinals last Sunday.

On Tuesday, 21 players were added to COVID reserve because of positive tests, per Pelissero. The Chiefs are the latest team to have an outbreak, as seven more players were added to the COVID list, including starters Tyreek HillNick BoltonRashad Fenton and Lucas Niang. That brings the total to 13 ahead of Kansas City’s home showdown with the Steelers on Sunday. The Bills will also reportedly be without one of their offensive weapons for a monumental AFC East showdown with the Patriots. Cole Beasley went on the COVID list and is unvaccinated, per Pelissero, meaning he has to isolate for 10 days. 

Thirty-three players were added to the COVID list Wednesday — including Chargers RB Austin Ekeler and Texans WR Brandin Cooks — while two head coaches also tested positive in the Jets’ Robert Saleh and the Eagles’ Nick Sirianni, putting their statuses in doubt for Week 16. Meanwhile, the Ravens added four players to COVID reserve to bring their total to 11.

The biggest names to officially go on the COVID list Thursday were Vikings RB Dalvin Cook and the Saints’ top two quarterbacks (Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian). Minnesota offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak confirmed during his press conference that Cook will not be available Sunday versus the Rams, which indicates that Cook is unvaccinated. If that is the case, the three-time Pro Bowler will have to isolate for 10 days before returning. In New Orleans, 11 players are currently on COVID reserve, nine of whom were added Thursday. According to NFL Network, the Saints are preparing fourth-round rookie Ian Book for his first-career start Monday night against the Dolphins. Elsewhere, the Texans have placed nine players on the list the past two days to bring their total to 21 — currently the most of any team.

An additional 24 players were placed on the COVID list on Friday. Most notably, Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis (who is reportedly unvaccinated and thus out for both Week 16 and Week 17), Colts offensive lineman Quenton Nelson, Jaguars edge rusher Josh Allen and wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr., Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson, and Saints tackle Ryan Ramczyk and linebacker Demario Davis. Buffalo is down two of its top four wide receivers for a huge game against New England, while Indianapolis will be without all three of its starting interior offensive linemen against the Cardinals on Saturday. 

Here’s an updated look at each team’s current COVID-19 situation as we head into Week 16, specifically which players are on COVID reserve: 

(NOTE: This list does not include players on practice squad or injured reserve.)



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