Is Bears-Vikings Week 15 game in jeopardy amid COVID-19 outbreak?

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  • Chicago Bears
    Chicago Bears
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  • Cleveland Browns
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  • Minnesota Vikings
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Is Bears-Vikings game in jeopardy amid COVID-19 outbreak? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The NFL postponed three Week 15 games amid multiple COVID-19 outbreaks across the league on Friday.

The Cleveland Browns-Las Vegas Raiders matchup scheduled for Saturday afternoon has been moved to Monday at 5 p.m. ET.

Two other games originally set for Sunday, Washington Football Team-Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle-Seahawks-Los Angeles Rams, are being pushed to Tuesday night. Both divisional showdowns will kick off at 7 p.m.

The Browns, Football Team and Rams each have at least 19 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list as of Saturday evening.

The Browns activated defensive end Takkarist McKinley from the COVID list on Saturday and added offensive tackle James Hudson III to it. So Cleveland's COVID list is still at 24 players, including starting quarterback Baker Mayfield and backup signal caller Case Keenum. Third-stringer Nick Mullens is currently projected to start under center for Cleveland versus Las Vegas.

The Football Team is also without its top two quarterbacks after starter Taylor Heinecke joined backup Kyle Allen on the COVID list on Friday. But Washington's D-line got a huge boost on Saturday when Jonathan Allen, Montez SweatJames Smith-Williams and Casey Toohill were all activated. The Football Team now has 19 players on the COVID list.

Meanwhile, the Rams activated wide receiver Odell Bekcham Jr., running back Darrell Henderson Jr., cornerback Dont'e Deayon, linebacker Justin Hollins, tight end Brycen Hopkins and offensive tackle Alaric Jackson on Saturday. But cornerback Robert Rochell and offensive tackle Joseph Noteboom were added to the Rams' COVID list, which now sits at 25 players.

The Rams, Browns and Football Team aren’t the only teams dealing with COVID issues either, as three others -- the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons -- are in enhanced protocols. The Miami Dolphins voluntarily entered enhanced protocols on Thursday as their COVID list increased to five players.

Here's a full look at the largest outbreaks around the league in Week 15:

Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears

The Bears are dealing with the largest outbreak among teams who haven't had their Week 15 game postponed. Chicago's COVID list decreased by one after starting nose tackle Eddie Goldman was taken off it on Saturday. There are now 12 Bears players sidelined due to the virus ahead of Monday night’s home matchup with the Minnesota Vikings at 8:15 p.m.

The Vikings were also in enhanced protocols earlier in the week, but head coach Mike Zimmer on Thursday said they were out of them. Minnesota still has six players on the COVID list.

Here’s a look at Chicago’s COVID list:

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cleveland Browns

In addition to being down their top two quarterbacks, the Browns could be without several other key players and head coach Kevin Stefanski, who tested positive, when they host the Raiders on Monday. The Browns currently have five offensive starters, including three linemen, and four defensive starters on the COVID list:

The NFL’s updated COVID protocols will make it easier for vaccinated, asymptomatic individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 to clear quarantine. Under the old rules, an individual had to return two negative test results 24 hours apart, or miss at least 10 days, to be able to return to their team. Now, an individual can return if they do one of the following:

  • Have two PCR tests that are either negative or produce a CT (cycle threshold) value of at least 35

  • Have one PCR test that is either negative or produces a CT value of at least 35 and have one negative Mesa test (Mesa test must be taken within 24 hours of the PCR test)

  • Have two negative Mesa tests

Unvaccinated individuals who test positive will still be required to quarantine a minimum of 10 days.

Washington Football Team vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Without Heinecke and backup Kyle Allen, the Football Team signed Garrett Gilbert off the New England Patriots' practice squad. As of now, one of Gilbert, Jordan Ta'amu (practice squad) or Kyle Shurmur (practice squad) will start against the Eagles in South Philadelphia. The Football Team is also down two starters on defense and two starters along the offensive line due to COVID:

  • QB Kyle Allen

  • S Troy Apke

  • DE Will Bradley-King

  • S Kamren Curl

  • LB Milo Eifler

  • S Darrick Forrest

  • CB Kendall Fuller

  • QB Taylor Heinicke

  • TE Temarrick Hemingway

  • LB Khaleke Hudson

  • DT Matt Ioannidis

  • C Tyler Larsen

  • OT Cornelius Lucas

  • LB David Mayo

  • TE Sammis Reyes

  • DT Tim Settle

  • WR Cam Sims

  • RB Wendell Smallwood (practice squad)

  • DE Daniel Wise

Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams

The Rams have two big-time defensive players on the COVID list in Von Miller and Jalen Ramsey. Four other Rams starters could be sidelined due to COVID as well when they host the Seahawks:

  • OL Tremayne Anchrum Jr.

  • LB Antoine Brooks Jr.

  • S Terrell Burgess

  • G Jamil Demby

  • OT Bobby Evans

  • S Jordan Fuller

  • S Jake Gervase

  • CB Tyler Hall (practice squad)

  • OT Rob Havenstein

  • CB Grant Haley

  • TE Tyler Higbee

  • S JuJu Hughes

  • DT Sebastian Joseph-Day

  • LB Justin Lawler

  • LB Von Miller

  • TE Johnny Mundt

  • OT Joseph Noteboom

  • LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo

  • CB Kareem Orr (practice squad)

  • TE Jared Pinkney

  • CB Jalen Ramsey

  • LB Troy Reeder

  • CB Robert Rochell

  • LB Christian Rozeboom (practice squad)

  • DE Jonah Williams (practice squad)

The Seahawks, meanwhile, could be without WR Tyler Lockett and RB Alex Collins due to COVID-19.