Kliff Kingsbury will be back on the sidelines when the Arizona Cardinals host the Houston Texans.
Kingsbury, who tested positive for COVID-19 on October 15 and missed the Cardinals’ 37-14 road victory over the Cleveland Browns two days later, cleared protocols for the virus with a negative test Sunday, October 24, the team announced.
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The three players who also tested positive for the virus prior to the game against the Browns have not been cleared to return to the team and will miss the 6-0 Cardinals’ Week 7 matchup with the Texans (1-5).
Linebacker Chandler Jones returned to the team’s training facilities to work out Friday, October 22, but he didn’t practice with the team and isn’t expected to play against the Texans. Jones was the first of the three players and three staff members to test positive for COVID-19 in the week following the Cardinals’ 17-10 home victory over the San Francisco 49ers on October 10.
FOX’s Jay Glazer said Jones lost about 15 pounds while being out with the virus, and the Cardinals “want to make sure he gets his strength back” before he returns to action.
However, Jones denied that report on Twitter:
The team is targeting the Thursday night game October 28 against the Green Bay Packers for his return, Glazer said.
Defensive linemen Zach Allen and Corey Peters also tested positive prior to the Browns game and will not play against the Texans. Peters made the trip to Cleveland for the October 17 game but tested positive that morning and was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Quarterbacks coach Cam Turner cleared the NFL’s COVID protocols and was back at practice Friday, October 22.
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim also tested positive the same day as Kingsbury, Turner and Allen. It’s unclear whether he will be at State Farm Stadium as Arizona hosts Houston. There must to be negative tests 24 hours apart to clear the NFL’s COVID protocols.
Cardinals Were Ready to Roll — Just in Case
The Cardinals were prepared to face the Texans without Kingsbury, as they did against the Browns.
Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph and assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Jeff Rogers shared the head coaching duties against the Browns, with assistant wide receivers coach Spencer Whipple calling the plays.
Kingsbury again created the offensive game plan for the Texans and participated virtually in all meetings during the week.
Arizona also called up four players from its practice squad on Saturday, October 23. Defensive lineman Josh Mauro was a standard elevation, while offensive lineman Danny Isidora, tight end Ross Travis and linebacker Joe Walker were activated as COVID replacements.
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100% Vaccinated Since September
Following multiple positive tests, the Cardinals entered the NFL’s enhanced mitigation protocols, meaning players, coaches and staff have been tested every day. No players, coaches or other team personnel have tested positive since Peters on Sunday, October 17.
Kingsbury announced in September that the Cardinals were 100% vaccinated. Despite the vaccinations, the Cardinals have been hit hard by the pandemic this season, with 21 positive tests since the start of training camp, according to the Arizona Republic.
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