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Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad player tests positive for coronavirus

Jacksonville Jaguars helmet on the field.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are one of the teams dealing with coronavirus-related issues heading into Week 6 of the NFL season.
(Mike Hewitt / Getty Images)

The Jacksonville Jaguars are the latest NFL team dealing with a positive coronavirus test.

The Jaguars said Saturday that a practice squad player has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. The initial result was confirmed by a second test Friday evening. The player, who was not identified, 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 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.

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The Jaguars are the fourth NFL team that’s had to deal with COVID-19 issues in recent days, joining Atlanta, Indianapolis and New England.

The Indianapolis Colts announced Friday that several people in the organization had tested positive for COVID-19. The results were found to be false.

The Patriots canceled practice Friday and later placed center James Ferentz on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He is the fifth player on the team to test positive for the virus.

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.

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New England already twice had its matchup against Denver, originally scheduled for Week 5, postponed following four earlier positive tests by players, including quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Stephon Gilmore. The game is scheduled for Sunday in Foxborough, Mass., but now could be in jeopardy.

Newton and Gilmore, the reigning NFL defensive player of the year, returned to practice this week for the first time since testing positive. 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.

Realizing Jalen Ramsey can fill any role, the Rams have moved the cornerback to different positions on different downs so he can create more havoc.

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

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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.


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