Eagles Put 4 Players on COVID-19 List, 2nd Round Pick Tests Positive

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside

Getty J.J. Arcega-Whiteside has been placed on the COVID-19/Reserve list after testing positive.

The Eagles have reportedly placed three players on the COVID-19/Reserve list after a wide receiver tested positive for the novel coronavirus. According to NFL Insider Geoff Mosher, second-year receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside turned back a positive test while youngsters Deontay Burnett and John Hightower had to be quarantined since they were in close contact with him.

The team announced that a player had tested positive for COVID-19 but didn’t reveal any names. The Eagles were already in “intensive protocol” — all 32 NFL teams are following a league-wide announcement on Wednesday — after safety Marcus Epps and assistant defensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn tested positive last week.

That means all meetings are now being done virtually and player gatherings are prohibited away from the team facility. In addition, masks must be worn at all times inside the building, per NFL.com, and all players and coaches must have a negative from the previous day’s testing before entering the facility.

“Honestly, there hasn’t been a challenge. Maybe traffic in Philadelphia,” Pederson said last week when asked about the biggest challenges from the intensive protocols. “And I say that seriously because we know that traffic can be an issue with guys coming from Jersey or from downtown or parts of PA and just getting the guys here rather than getting them here early in the morning.”

Vinny Curry, Corey Clement Hit COVID-19 List

The Eagles’ injury report showed five players not participating in Thursday’s practice, including four due to illness: WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, RB Corey Clement, DE Vinny Curry, WR John Hightower. The team later clarified that Arcega-Whiteside, Clement, Curry — and practice-squad receiver Deontay Burnett — had all been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

Arcega-Whiteside reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 and Curry, Clement, Hightower had all been in close contact with the second-year receiver. Both Clement and Curry have reportedly tested negative, per ESPN, and Hightower was deemed “not a high-risk close contact.”

Prior to the Giants game, Pederson peeled back the curtain a little more on exactly how much the COVID-19 protocols affected his coaching style.

“The only thing that it really affects is meeting time,” Pederson said on Nov. 11. “We had a really good session this morning virtually, which we leaned on our experiences from the spring, in the summer and training camp with the virtual stuff. So we’re just limited in the amount of, I guess availability with the players, right now, but we’re going to make the most of it and the messaging is that we eliminate distractions.”

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Virtual Meeting Rooms Become New Normal

Perhaps the biggest challenge for players to overcome with the new COVID-19 restrictions will be the lack of in-person instruction. All team meetings will be done virtually, via Zoom calls, for the foreseeable future.

Fletcher Cox pointed out that the virtual format can lead to longer meetings because more questions get asked. Details need to be clarified, situations explained.

“The good thing about it is, I tell the guys all the time, the only dumb questions are the ones you don’t ask, and guys are always asking questions,” Cox told reporters on Wednesday. “Everyone asks questions, it’s just the thing about it is sometimes it’s just more questions for guys to understand it.”

Miles Sanders showed up to his Zoom media call wearing a mask on Thursday and vowed to do whatever it takes to make it work. The running back joked that he didn’t want to get fined.

“It’s a little difficult, a little challenging, especially not getting that hands-on teaching,” Sanders said. “But we got to do what we got to do to make this thing work. We’re willing to do it and the whole league should be willing to do it. We’re ready for it. You see I got my mask on right now. I ain’t trying to get fined.”

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