Chiefs Activate 4 Remaining Players on Reserve/COVID-19 List

Getty Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker.

In wake of the NFL revising its COVID-19 protocols for quarantining, the Kansas City Chiefs officially have no players remaining on the reserve/COVID-19 list following a flurry of transactions.

On Wednesday, December 29, the Chiefs activated kicker Harrison Butker, punter Tommy Townsend, cornerback Rashad Fenton, and safety Armani Watts from the Reserve/COVID-19 list, per the NFL’s official transaction wire. Linebacker Darius Harris, a practice squad player, was also activated and put back on the practice squad.

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Butker, who is unvaccinated, was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday, December 20. Thursday marks the first day that he is eligible to return to Arrowhead following his required 10-day quarantine. Fenton and Watts were placed on the list on Tuesday, December 21. Townsend was placed on the list on Friday, December 24.

Along with the activations, Kansas City has also opened the 21-day practice window for running back Jerick McKinnon (hamstring) to return from injured reserve. McKinnon has been on injured reserve since November 30.

NFL Changes COVID Quarantine Protocols

In Week 17, the league decided to fall in line with the CDC’s new guidelines for quarantining. The NFL and the NFLPA have now adopted the CDC’s new guideline, which allows players that test positive but are asymptomatic to only have to quarantine for five days instead of 10 days, including those who are unvaccinated, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

After a record 106 NFL players landed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday, December 26, the league is trying to allow some of the players that are not experiencing symptoms and are at very low risk of spreading the virus to return to the lineup at a much faster pace. Doing it this way will allow players that test positive early in the week to have a much greater chance of playing in their next game, regardless of their vaccination status.

Reid, Mahomes on Joe Burrow

In Week 17, the Chiefs take on Cincinnati Bengals, who have climbed back into the playoff hunt in part because of quarterback Joe Burrow. In Cincinnati’s 41-21 win over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 16, Burrow threw for 525 yards — the fourth-most passing yards in a single game in NFL history — and four touchdowns.

Head coach Andy Reid was the first to express his thoughts about Burrow during his press conference on Wednesday, December 29.

“[Burrow’s] a smooth operator. He does a real nice job. Looks like he’s smart, well-coached, and he’s accurate,” Reid said. He’s got some good wide receivers that he puts it up to, and they do a nice job too. But he’s great for the National Football League right now. These young quarterbacks, we’re so lucky to have them in this league, and it looks like we might have a couple more coming in this next year. It just makes the competition so great, and that’s what this is all about.”

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes also shared his thoughts on one of the NFL’s bright, young stars.

“Not only is [Burrow] a great football player, I think he’s a great leader, he has that special knack where he can lead anybody,” Mahomes said during his press conference. “No matter where he’s at, he can go out there with that swag, that mentality of ‘I’m going to win no matter what.’ It takes a lot of experience and it takes a lot of just going out there and doing it for people to believe that. He has that as well as the physical talent to go out there and make a lot of stuff happen.”

Patrick Mahomes: "Any game can be anybody's week" | Press Conference 12/29QB Patrick Mahomes speaks to the media Subscribe for more videos! More Chiefs NFL action! #KansasCityChiefs #Chiefs #NFL Follow Our Social Media! Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

The Chiefs-Bengals game will take place on Sunday, January 2 at Paul Brown Stadium at 1 p.m. ET on CBS.


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