Good news out of Las Vegas and New Orleans. There were no new positives for the Raiders and Saints during the latest round of testing, reports NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). This means that both the Raiders-Buccaneers game (which had previously been moved from Sunday night to Sunday afternoon) and the Saints-Panthers game are on track to be played (per Ben Volin of the Boston Globe on Twitter).
Raiders lineman Trent Brown and cornerback Damon Arnette tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. Players who had been in close contact with that duo, including the entire offensive line (Kolton Miller, Denzelle Good, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson), were sent home from the team facility on Wednesday. These high-risk contacts needed to isolate for five days, but considering they were last in contact with Brown or Arnette on Monday, they could all end up playing on Sunday. Safety Johnathan Abram, who was also sent home, had his last contact on Tuesday, so he won’t be allowed to play this weekend.
We also learned this week that the NFL and NFLPA were investigating the Raiders for COVID-19 compliance. Jarrett Bell of USA Today provided more details on the investigation, noting that the previously reported video “revealed violations of “intensive protocol” measures during practices that included several players not wearing masks or face shields and not adhering to social distancing on the sidelines.” As a result, Bell opines that the Raiders are “seemingly on the verge” of being punished by the league.
In New Orleans, wideout Emmanuel Sanders was placed on the Saints’ reserve/COVID-19 list yesterday. Katherine Terrell of The Athletic tweets that the organization tested about 20 players who had come into contact with Sanders. Cornerback Ken Crawley, who tested negative but was exposed, was also placed on the COVID-19 list.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.