Jaguars plan to play Sunday after practice squad player's positive COVID-19 test

The Jacksonville Jaguars are the latest NFL team dealing with a positive COVID-19 test, announcing Saturday that a practice squad player has tested positive for the coronavirus. The initial result was confirmed by a second test Friday evening.

5th NFL team to deal with coronavirus issues in recent days working remotely

The Jaguars are the fourth NFL team to deal with COVID issues in recent days, joining Atlanta, Indianapolis and New England, after a practice squad player tested positive for the coronavirus, the club announced Saturday. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The Jacksonville Jaguars are the latest NFL team dealing with a positive COVID-19 test.

The Jaguars said Saturday that a practice squad player has tested positive for the coronavirus. The initial result was confirmed by a second test Friday evening. The player was quarantined, and the team is reviewing contact tracing data to determine what further precautions need to be taken.

The Jaguars (1-4) host Detroit (1-3) on Sunday in Florida and plan to play as scheduled.

Jacksonville decided to hold football activities remotely Saturday as part of NFL protocols. It could benefit the team that it typically separates practice squad players from guys on the 53-man roster, creating an extra level of protection to help prevent an outbreak.

The Jaguars are the fifth NFL team to deal with COVID issues in recent days, joining Atlanta, Indianapolis, New England and Denver.

Broncos running backs coach Curtis Modkins has tested positive and won't make the trip to New England.

Broncos running backs coach Curtis Modkins, left, has the coronavirus. Sunday's scheduled game against the hometown Patriots was supposed to be played last weekend but was delayed twice, first by a day, then by seven, after several coronavirus cases on New England. (David Zalubowski/Associated Press)

The Broncos said they learned of the diagnosis early Saturday.

"Curtis is currently at home in self-isolation and experiencing no symptoms," the team said. "We have evaluated close contacts, administered necessary point of care testing [no positive COVID-19 results] and implemented additional health and safety measures at UCHealth Training Center per NFL-NFLPA protocols."

The Broncos said they're in "regular communication" with the league office, the league's chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills and team medical staff.

The Patriots went back to work Saturday, one day after a fifth player on the team tested positive for COVID-19, centre James Ferentz, and one day before their twice-postponed game against Denver. Ferentz has been placed on reserve/COVID-19 list.

The Colts had four positive tests that came up negative upon retesting. The Falcons returned to their facility one day after abandoning it because of a second positive.

Newton, Gilmore returned to practice this week

A Patriots spokesman said the team would proceed with its walkthrough, but all meetings would be virtual. There was no word on any Saturday testing.

The game against the Broncos, originally scheduled for Oct. 11 and then pushed back one day and then seven, was rescheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. The game was delayed after several coronavirus cases on New England, including quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

Newton and Gilmore, the reigning defensive player of the year, returned to practice this week for the first time since testing positive for the virus. Newton missed New England's loss at Kansas City on Oct. 5 after his Oct. 2 positive test. He was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday. Gilmore, who tested positive on Oct. 7, was activated from the list Thursday. Practice squad player Bill Murray also returned from the COVID-19 list Thursday.

Defensive tackle Byron Cowart, who tested positive on Oct. 11, was joined on the list by Ferentz.

The Broncos haven't played since Oct. 1. If they play Sunday, they'll have had 16 days between games; one day longer than Tennessee's layoff before the Titans beat Buffalo on Tuesday night following the NFL's first COVID-19 outbreak, which affected two dozen members of the organization.

Denver's layoff is the longest in the league since 2001, when the NFL postponed all games on the weekend following the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Three teams — the Saints, Steelers and Buccaneers — had byes when play resumed a week later, so they all had 20 days between games that year. Of those three, only the Steelers won in their return to action.

Robinson, Slayton added to Falcons' active roster

Indianapolis closed its practice facility, then the four retests came back negative and the building reopened.

The Falcons left as scheduled for Sunday's game at Minnesota, but said defensive end John Cominsky was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and defensive line coaches Tosh Lupoi and Jess Simpson did not make the trip.

Atlanta moved Edmond Robinson and defensive tackle Chris Slayton from the practice squad to the active roster as COVID-19 replacements.

Earlier this week the team placed rookie defensive tackle Marlon Davidson on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The Falcons had to shut their facility Thursday but reopened Friday after one non-player tested positive.

The Panthers placed guard/centre Tyler Larsen on the reserve/COVID-19 list five days after he played against Atlanta.

Beckham tests negative, cleared to rejoin Browns

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had his second negative COVID-19 test in 24 hours, clearing him to rejoin his teammates and play in Sunday's game at Pittsburgh.

Beckham was kept away from Cleveland's facility and didn't practice for two days after feeling ill on Thursday and being sent home. In keeping with NFL coronavirus protocol, he had to twice test negative before being allowed back.

The league has instructed teams to remove anyone showing symptoms similar to COVID-19 even if they are caused by a cold or the flu.

The Browns listed Beckham as questionable to face the unbeaten Steelers (4-0) at Heinz Field. While he didn't practice, the three-time Pro Bowler participated in team meetings remotely.

On Friday, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said Beckham was feeling better and the team hoped he would be able to play and possibly help Cleveland get its first win in Pittsburgh since 2003.

Ravens' Brandon Williams on COVID list

The Baltimore Ravens have placed defensive tackle Brandon Williams on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

The team isn't saying whether Williams tested positive for COVID-19 or came in close contact with someone who is infected with the virus.

The six-foot-one, 336-pound Williams is a key figure in the Baltimore run defence. The eight-year veteran ranks ninth on the team with 15 tackles.

The Ravens face Philadelphia on Sunday.

With files from Tom Withers/Associated Press

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