NFL COVID-19 updates: Vikings star RB Dalvin Cook among latest to be sidelined

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In its first week under new protocols, the NFL continues to deal with COVID-19 fallout.

Dozens of players have been added to the reserve list in the past few days, including several big names. And while many of those figures could be able to test out of the protocols before Week 16 games, others could miss contests that will prove critical in shaping the playoff race over the final three weeks of the regular season.

Here's all the latest on COVID-19 cases throughout the NFL, including which players are headed to the COVID-19 reserve list and which ones are coming off it:

Texans up to 23 players on COVID-19 reserve list after latest additions

The Houston Texans continue to be hit hard by COVID-19.

With six more players added to the COVID-19 reserve list on Thursday, the Texans now have 23 players in total on the list.

Thursday's additions were defensive backs Lonnie Johnson and Eric Murray, defensive linemen Roy Lopez and Jordan Jenkins and offensive linemen Justin Britt and Tytus Howard.

The Texans are scheduled to face the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) in action against the Pittsburgh Steelers at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) in action against the Pittsburgh Steelers at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Vikings star RB Dalvin Cook out Sunday after landing on COVID-19 reserve list

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook will miss Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Rams after landing on the COVID-19 reserve list.

Offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak confirmed Thursday that Cook is unvaccinated and would be out Sunday. Cook will have to be quarantined for at least 10 days before he can return.

Cook, who was selected to his third Pro Bowl on Wednesday, ranks third in the NFL with 1,067 rushing yards this season and is averaging 4.7 yards per carry.

Minnesota also placed cornerback Tye Smith and practice squad offensive guard on the COVID-19 reserve list. The Vikings also activated wide receiver Dan Chisena from the list.

At 7-7, the Vikings currently are in position for the final wild-card spot in the NFC, though they are tied with the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints.

MORE: How NFL Players Association shifted its COVID-19 testing fight in response to threat of cancellations, majority of players' demands

NFL Players Association president, Browns center JC Tretter tests positive for COVID-19

Browns center JC Tretter has spent an exhausting two weeks as president of the NFL Players Association trying to protect its members during the COVID-19 surge.

On Thursday, he learned he’d tested positive for the virus.

Tretter posted that news on Twitter just before the start of practice.

“After experiencing mild cold-like symptoms this morning, I chose to test at our facility and unfortunately, I am positive for COVID-19,” Tretter wrote.

“I encourage all NFL players to take every precaution available to them to protect themselves, their families and their teammates from this virus.”

Tretter said during a Zoom interview Wednesday that he had received a booster shot.

The Browns announced that Tretter had been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, knocking him out of Saturday’s game in Green Bay against the 11-3 Packers. Two players — safety Grant Delpit and offensive tackle James Hudson III — were activated from that list.

- Marla Ridenour, Akron Beacon Journal

Browns expect QB Mayfield to play Saturday

A plane will be waiting to fly Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield to Green Bay on Saturday, and coach Kevin Stefanski said he wouldn’t hesitate to start him against the Packers despite his lack of on-field preparation.

Mayfield hasn’t practiced since Dec. 10 and was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Dec. 15. But that won’t stand in the way if Mayfield clears COVID-19 protocols and is deemed healthy to play in the Christmas Day game at Lambeau Field.

“If he’s healthy as he’s been and he’s cleared and he’s ready to go, then I anticipate him playing,” Stefanski said Thursday.

Stefanski expects players to be activated after their 10-day quarantine, and for Mayfield that would be Saturday. Stefanski tested positive the same day and returned to Browns headquarters on Wednesday.

If Mayfield tests negative on Friday, he will travel with the team.

“We’re taking this day by day,” Stefanski said. “Tomorrow we’ll see if he tests out and he’s available to be with us tomorrow. If not, we’ll take it obviously to Saturday.”

- Marla Ridenour, Akron Beacon Journal

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL COVID updates: Dalvin Cook among latest to land on reserve list