Both defensive tackle Tyeler Davison and backup quarterback Danny Etling were added to the Atlanta Falcons‘ reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday, the team announced. The Falcons now have a total of five players on the list.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that either player has tested positive for the coronavirus, it could mean they were in close contact with someone who has or they are experiencing symptoms.
Tyeler Davison the most significant name to hit the Covid-19 list for the Falcons as important run-stuffer along the defensive line. Others on the list are QB Danny Etling, FB Keith Smith, S Jamal Carter, rookie S Jaylinn Hawkins. Team can’t comment on the status of the players.
— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) July 31, 2020
While we are uncertain as to whether or not Davison and Etling have the virus, it was confirmed that Falcons fullback Keith Smith and safety Jamal Carter both tested positive for the coronavirus. Smith has not experienced any symptoms.
Falcons fullback Keith Smith, like safety Jamal Carter, has tested positive for COVID-19. I’m told Smith is asymptomatic. Falcons put Smith, Carter on reserve/COVID-19 list along with rookie Jaylinn Hawkins, who was put on yesterday.
— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) July 29, 2020
The fifth player, rookie safety Jaylinn Hawkins, is also on the list but we are unsure of his status at the moment.
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What Happens Now?
When a player tests positive and is showing symptoms, at least 10 days must pass since the symptoms first occurred and at least 72 hours must have passed since symptoms last occurred.
Unfortunately, This could very well mean that such a player will miss at least two games at the start of the season.
If a player tests positive but is showing zero symptoms, he can return either 10 days after the positive test or in just five days if the player tests negative twice.
Daily testing could be a huge problem heading into and during the season but the NFL is set on making it to the Super Bowl.
Falcons Are Doing Their Best to Keep Players Safe
Each team is on their own when it comes to setting up safety protocols for their team. While some players have ended up on the list, the majority has not.
The Falcons are going above and beyond keeping players safe. Falcons QB1 Matt Ryan weighed in on what the Falcons have done so far.
“We’re lucky that we’ve got a lot of space and a massive setup,” Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan told Pro Football Talk. “For us to be able to kind of space out and make sure we are up to code on all of the protocols, we have these kind of townhomes that we stay in during training camp that are built right behind our facility, which we’re able to use as our locker room right now. We each have our own individual bathroom and bed and changing area, and all that kind of stuff.
“We’re uniquely built to kind of handle this, and our staff here has done an amazing job of trying to make it safe as possible for everybody and appreciate them doing that.”
Players are tested daily and the NFL is still working on creating a mask that players can play in.
Why the NBA Bubble Won’t Work in the NFL
The NBA has hardly had any players test positive for COVID since they’ve resumed. This is because they spent months developing a safe strategy for players and staff to return.
The NBA bubble is located in Orlando where all players are practically shut off from the rest of the world. The NFL has been told to follow in their footsteps after several players have tested positive for the virus. The problem is the size of the NFL.
Each NFL team would need to house hundreds of employees including players, coaches, medical officials, and other staffers. This would be all day, every day for at least five months.
Oh, and you can’t forget about the game officials and media coverage each week.
There really isn’t a city big enough but teams can still form their own kind of bubble like Atlanta is doing right now.