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NFL COVID-19 tracker, Week 17: Kirk Cousins, Darren Waller among more than 170 players on COVID list

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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to plague the NFL. As of Monday night, 521 players had been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list in December alone, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. That’s nearly one in four active players.

Even worse is that 476 of those have come since Dec. 13. (For context, 428 players went on COVID reserve all of last season, Sept. 1 to Super Bowl LV). Many high-profile players have missed games this season after testing positive for the virus, and more players will undoubtedly miss time during the final two weeks of the 2021 regular season.

A record 106 players were placed on the COVID list Monday, with several teams getting hit hard. The Jaguars added the most players (10), the Raiders lost all three starting linebackers, and the Chargers went down four defensive backs and already ruled out three starters for Week 17 versus the Broncos. Other big names added to the list include the Buccaneers’ Mike Evans, the Titans’ Julio Jones and Bud Dupree, the Panthers’ Brian Burns and Shaq Thompson, and the Patriots’ Matt Judon.

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However, none of those moves were as significant as the Colts placing quarterback Carson Wentz on COVID reserve Tuesday, putting his status in doubt for Indy’s showdown with the Raiders on Sunday. The other big news from Tuesday is that Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians tested positive for COVID-19 and has been isolating at home, per the team. Assistant head coach Harold Goodwin is taking over head coaching duties in his absence.

The biggest news Wednesday was the Raiders placing Darren Waller on COVID reserve. Waller has missed the past four games with a hip injury, but there was optimism he would return to practice in some capacity this week. Now, he’s in COVID protocols, meaning Las Vegas could be without him again for its crucial AFC showdown with the Colts on Sunday.

On Thursday, the Vikings announced that quarterback Kirk Cousins is in COVID protocols and will miss the pivotal “Sunday Night Football” matchup against the Green Bay Packers. Washington also placed running back Antonio Gibson on the reserve/COVID-19 list. 

(Note: On Tuesday, the NFL adopted new COVID protocols that reduce the mandated quarantine for positive players from 10 to five days, with no “test out” required if players are asymptomatic. This applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated players.)

Here’s an updated look at each team’s current COVID-19 situation as we head into Week 17, specifically which players are on COVID reserve: 

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

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Steelers’ Karl Joseph and Anthony Miller both suffer season-ending injuries, per report

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USATSI

The Pittsburgh Steelers saw two players suffer season-ending injuries, as safety Karl Joseph and wide receiver Anthony Miller are both out for the year, per Steelers reporter Dale Lolley. Joseph is out with an ankle injury while Miller injured his shoulder. Both are expected to be placed on injured reserve.

Joseph’s injury came during the team’s preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks. Joseph went down in the first quarter and was carted off the field with an air cast seen on his ankle. The 28-year-old was later spotted on crutches, wearing a walking boot.

Joseph joined the Steelers after last season’s training camp and this year was looking to earn the second safety spot.

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Head coach Mike Tomlin originally said his injury was day-to-day, but according to reports it will end his season.

Miller injured his shoulder in training camp ahead of Pittsburgh’s first preseason game. This is not his first shoulder injury, as he also struggled with shoulder issues while he was on the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears.

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As the regular season gets closer and the roster starts getting cut closer to what it will be for the 2022 season, it looked as if Miller would make the 53-man roster.





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Steelers Insider Clarifies The QB Battle

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(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

 

The Pittsburgh Steelers continue to solidify their depth chart at quarterback after Ben Roethlisberger‘s retirement.

The 2022 campaign will be the first that “Big Ben” won’t start after being the undisputed top play-caller for the squad for 18 seasons.

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Their candidates for selection include Mason Rudolph, who has backed up Roethlisberger, and Kenny Pickett, who had a solid performance during his first preseason game.

Then there’s Mitchell Trubisky, who they signed on a two-year contract.

After all, he has playoff experience and hopefully learned a lot from Josh Allen after his one-year stint with the Buffalo Bills.

However, some fans might argue that Pickett deserves to start after a strong performance during the preseason.

To which ESPN’s Brooke Pryor reiterated that the battle for the top spot is over.

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Pryor tweeted, “Exactly. Biggest storyline in the QB room is what happens behind Trubisky — is Rudolph the No. 2? Will Pickett catch on fast enough to jump him? That’s what I’m watching through the last two preseason games.”

 

Trubisky Is Pittsburgh’s Starting Quarterback

Head coach Mike Tomlin did declare in a recent interview that Trubisky will be their starter in Week 1 based on skill level.

He said in this video, “Yeah, because that’s the premise by which we started. We’ve been really transparent with the guys and we based our starter on resumes. Mitch has won in this league. The statistics bared it out that he has more experience than the others. So, we just thought that it’s appropriate to start there.”

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Therefore, Rudolph and Pickett are basically competing to become second on the depth chart.

Pickett may have the edge for now after that strong performance.

But that order could change with each passing week.

The post Steelers Insider Clarifies The QB Battle appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Alabama tops college football preseason AP Top 25 | UNDISPUTED

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In the latest college football AP poll, University of Alabama found themselves ranked number 1. The Tide return Heisman trophy winner and projected top 10 pick Bryce Young at QB. Last year, Bama lost in the national title game to Georgia. Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe react to the AP Top 25 poll.



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