The NFL continues to deal with more COVID-19 cases and the Omicron variant.
With three weeks left in the 2021 regular season, the league is coming off its first set of games that were pushed back in response to a rash of COVID-19 cases, with the Las Vegas Raiders-Cleveland Browns game being bumped from Saturday to Monday and the Seattle Seahawks-Los Angeles Rams and Washington Football Team-Philadelphia Eagles contests sliding from Sunday to Tuesday.
Here’s all the latest on COVID-19 cases throughout the NFL, including which players are headed to the COVID-19 reserve list and which ones are coming off it:
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni tests positive for COVID-19
The Philadelphia Eagles’ late-season rise might have hit a snare.
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, putting his availability for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants in Jeopardy.
Sirianni can still test out of the NFL’s protocols before Sunday, but passing game coordinator Kevin Patullo will assume head coaching duties until Sirianni returns.
At 7-7, the Eagles are tied with the Minnesota Vikings for the final wild-card spot in the NFC, though Philadelphia currently loses out on the tiebreaker.
Texans place top WR Cooks, others on COVID-19 reserve list
The Houston Texans to get hit hard by COVID-19 cases.
The Texans placed top wide receiver Brandin Cooks on the COVID-19 reserve list Wednesday, along with kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn and linebacker Eric Wilson.
Texans coach David Culley said last week that Wilson is the team’s lone unvaccinated players, meaning he will miss Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers and be forced to be out for at least 10 days.
Including the practice squad, the Texans now have 18 players on the COVID-19 reserve list.
Jets coach Robert Saleh tests positive for COVID-19
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — New York Jets coach Robert Saleh tested positive for COVID on Wednesday morning, putting his status for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars in question.
Tight ends coach Ron Middleton will handle Saleh’s duties until he’s able to return, including serving as the head coach Sunday if Saleh isn’t back.
Saleh exhibited symptoms before practice, according to a team spokesperson, which led to the test. Under the NFL’s newly updated COVID protocols, vaccinated coaches and players are not required to be tested unless they are exhibiting symptoms.
There’s a chance that Saleh could return as soon as Thursday if he tests out of the league’s protocols, but to be tested again he will have to stop showing symptoms.
The Jets have largely avoided COVID-19 issues this season, but that has changed in recent days.
The Jets have have 10 players from the active roster on the COVID list: offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker, cornerback Michael Carter II and Justin Hardee, linebacker Blake Cashman, defensive linemen Folorunso Fatukasi and John Franklin-Myers, wide receivers Elijah Moore and Jeff Smith and safety Sharrod Neasman. They also have four players from the practice squad on the COVID-19 list: linebacker Noah Dawkins, cornerback Lamar Jackson, defensive lineman Tanzel Smart and wide receiver Vyncint Smith.
– Andy Vasquez, NorthJersey.com
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski returns after clearing COVID-19 protocols
The Browns have coach Kevin Stefanski back in the building.
Stefanski cleared COVID-19 protocols Wednesday and returned to work at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus in Berea, the team announced. He is helping the Browns (7-7) prepare for their Christmas Day road game against the Green Bay Packers (11-3).
Starting tight end Austin Hooper, linebacker Jacob Phillips and returner JoJo Natson (practice squad) also came off the COVID-19 list Wednesday.
But not all of the Browns’ COVID-related transactions were positive developments.
Rookie cornerback Greg Newsome II landed on the COVID-19 list. The first-round draft pick has missed the past two games with a concussion he suffered Dec. 10 in practice.
– Nate Ulrich, Akron Beacon Journal
More Rams players off COVID-19 list
One day after winning a game against the Seattle Seahawks that was postponed in response to a rash of the team’s COVID-19 cases, the Los Angeles Rams will have several more players set to return.
Offensive tackle Rob Havenstein, outside linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and safety Terrell Burgess all are set to be cleared for a return to action, Rams coach Sean McVay said Wednesday.
Defensive tackle Sebastian-Joseph Day and offensive guard Jamil Demby were also removed later in the day, bringing the Rams’ total still on the COVID-19 reserve list down to 11.
Three Steelers players land on COVID-19 reserve list
The Pittsburgh Steelers placed linebacker Devin Bush, offensive tackle Zach Banner and linebacker Marcus Allen on the COVID-19 reserve list on Wednesday.
Bush, a 2019 first-round pick out of Michigan, has started 13 games this season. Banner and Allen both have played sparingly this season, contributing primarily on special teams.
Defensive tackle Motravius Adams is the only other Steelers player on the COVID-19 reserve list.
Report: No more Chiefs players added to COVID-19 reserve list
The Kansas City Chiefs had several key players land on the COVID-19 reserve list in recent days, but the team won’t place any additional players on the list Wednesday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported.
All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill landed on the list on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
Starting cornerback Charvarius Ward and kicker Harrison Butker also are on the list.
-Texas AM has pulled out of the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl. Bowl officials are looking for another opponent for Wake Forest.
-The NBA postponed two games: Raptors-Bulls on Wednesday and Nets-Trail Blazers on Thursday. The Nets and Raptors didn’t have the minimum eight players available.
-The ACC changed its policy on forfeits for men’s and women’s basketball. If a team lacks the minimum of seven players and one coach and elects not to play, the game will be considered a no-contest. If it has the minimum and chooses not to play, the game will be declared a forfeit
-The American Hockey League won’t hold an All-Star Game for the second year in a row. This year’s game was to be played in Laval, Quebec, but the province has placed a restriction on group gatherings.
-The NHL made official that it won’t send its players to the Beijing Olympics because more than 50 regular-season games have been postponed.
ANALYSIS:Who’s hurt most by NHL’s decision to pull out of Olympics?