• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

NFL COVID-19 updates: Buccaneers place standout WR Mike Evans on reserve list

·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

With two weeks left in the regular season, the NFL is still dealing with a number of COVID-19 cases.

Several star players – including Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, Los Angeles Chargers outside linebacker Joey Bosa, Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook and Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard – were sidelined for their respective teams' Week 16 contests. And more key contributors could be in line to miss the penultimate round of regular-season games.

Here's the latest COVID-19 news from around the NFL, including who's going on the COVID-19 reserve list this week and who's coming off of it:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) leaves the field during a NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Dec.12, 2021 in Tampa, Fla.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) leaves the field during a NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Dec.12, 2021 in Tampa, Fla.

Buccaneers' receiving corps takes another hit as WR Mike Evans lands on COVID-19 list

The tough breaks keep coming for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The defending champions placed three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Evans on the COVID-19 reserve list on Monday.

Evans was held out of Tampa Bay's win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday after he suffered a hamstring injury the previous week in a shutout loss to the New Orleans Saints. Leading receiver Chris Godwin suffered a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament in the same game.

Evans ranks second in the NFL with 11 touchdown catches this season.

The Buccaneers face the New York Jets on Sunday.

Lions get QB Goff back as WR Reynolds lands on COVID-19 list

The Detroit Lions are getting their quarterback back, but losing one of his favorite targets.

Lions quarterback Jared Goff cleared COVID-19 protocols Monday, a week after he was placed on the reserve/COVID list, while receiver Josh Reynolds tested positive for the virus.

Goff did not play in Sunday's 20-16 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, but should be back in the lineup for this week's game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Reynolds, who played four seasons with Goff with the Los Angeles Rams, has 18 catches for 295 yards and two touchdowns in six games with the Lions this season.

The Lions (2-12-1) have been more efficient in the passing game since acquiring Reynolds off waivers from the Tennessee Titans in November as defenses have had to respect Reynolds' size outside.

- Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press

Browns get boost with 8 players back from COVID-19 reserve

Reinforcements are on the way for the Browns, whose roster has been decimated the past two games by a COVID-19 outbreak.

The team announced Monday it activated the following eight players from the COVID-19 list:

• Left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr.

• Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney

• Running back Kareem Hunt

• Safety Ronnie Harrison Jr.

• Nickelback Troy Hill

• Defensive tackle Malik McDowell

• Linebacker Mack Wilson

• Guard Drew Forbes (on injured reserve)

Wills, Clowney, Harrison, Hill and McDowell are considered starters. The backup to three-time Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb, Hunt is one of the offense's most dangerous weapons.

The Browns also placed linebacker Elijah Lee on the COVID-19 list and restored safety Nate Meadors from the practice squad/COVID-19 list.

- Nate Ulrich, Akron Beacon Journal

MORE: 32 things we learned from Week 16 of 2021 NFL season

NFL WEEK 16 WINNERS, LOSERS: Josh Allen's Bills on track to win AFC East, WFT embarrassed by Cowboys.

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule works the sidelines in the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule works the sidelines in the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

Panthers have 'somewhat significant outbreak'

The Carolina Panthers sent all personnel home Monday amid what coach Matt Rhule called a "somewhat significant" outbreak of COVID-19.

Rhule said the Panthers returned more positive tests that morning but did not reveal how many.

The Panthers later placed six players on the COVID-19 reserve list: Pro Bowl defensive end Brian Burns, starting linebacker Shaq Thompson, defensive end Marquis Haynes Sr. , defensive tackle Phil Hoskins, defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon and center Matt Paradis. Nixon and Paradis had already been ruled out for the rest of the season and were on injured reserve.

Carolina, which faces the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, had seven players on the COVID-19 reserve list as of Monday morning.

Colts add five more to COVID-19 reserve list

INDIANAPOLIS — A Colts team that has been ravaged by COVID-19 is still in the midst of an outbreak as the week of preparation for the Las Vegas Raiders begins.

Indianapolis placed right tackle Braden Smith, running back Marlon Mack, cornerback T.J. Carrie, safety Jahleel Addae and linebacker Malik Jefferson on the COVID-19 reserve list on Monday morning, making it 13 Colts who have been placed on the list since last week.

All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson, All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard, right guard Mark Glowinski, safety Khari Willis, cornerback Rock Ya-Sin, wide receiver Zach Pascal, defensive end Kemoko Turay and practice squad tight end Farrod Green were placed on the list last week.

Because the Colts are one of the least vaccinated teams in the NFL — Leonard, Nelson, Pascal and others were unvaccinated in August — some of their players must sit out at least 10 days before returning to the lineup. Under NFL rules, a vaccinated player may return earlier than 10 days if he tests negative twice 24 hours apart, or if the viral load in his body falls below a certain threshold.

For example, vaccinated linebacker Zaire Franklin tested positive after the bye week, but he did not miss a game because he tested out of the protocol in time to play against the Patriots. Leonard, who was open about his decision to not get vaccinated, is expected to miss both the Cardinals game and the Raiders game.

A COVID outbreak might be the only thing that could potentially keep the Colts from finishing off their remarkable comeback from a 1-4 start to make the playoffs.

Indianapolis is currently the No. 5 seed in the AFC at 9-6, and a win over Las Vegas on Sunday would clinch a playoff berth, but a thin roster depleted by COVID-19 could make that difficult, even after the Colts overcame absences to beat Arizona on the road on Christmas night. Based on the way COVID-19 has ripped through NFL rosters — the Colts are the 15th team to place at least seven players on the reserve/COVID-19 list since Dec. 8 — Indianapolis could be facing more positive tests before the end of the week.

— Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL COVID updates: Mike Evans lands on Buccaneers' reserve list