Six more Miami Dolphins landed on the league’s reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday — but is it cause for concern as the virus continues to circulate through South Florida?
Depends on how long they remain out of action.
But it doesn’t sound, at least preliminary, as though the Dolphins are facing a massive outbreak. A source told the Miami Herald that the majority of new COVID-19 deactivations were due to contact with a positive teammate, not because of their own positive tests.
The track record, so far, has been that the majority of Dolphins players who go on the list come off it after just a few days — signaling they did not actually have the illness. League rules mandate teams immediately deactivate players who either test positive for the virus or come in close contact with those who have.
Whatever the reality, the Dolphins will be without the following players for at least the next couple of days: defensive linemen Shaq Lawson, Raekwon Davis and Benito Jones, safety Brandon Jones, offensive lineman Solomon Kindley and wide receiver Kirk Merritt.
Lawson is the biggest name of the group. The former Buffalo Bills edge defender had signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the Dolphins back in the spring.
This is Jones’ second stint on IR/COVID-19; he spent two days on the list in late July.
It’s possible that Lawson, Davis, Benito Jones and Kindley were red-flagged because they practiced with Davon Godchaux, who went on the reserve list Wednesday. If Godchaux had a positive test, then those with whom he interacted closely in meetings and walkthroughs would likely need to be sidelined, at least for now.
In all, 14 Dolphins players have now been placed on reserve/COVID-19 since the NFL’s testing protocol began two weeks ago. Of that group, six have since been reactivated, most recently wide receiver Malcolm Perry — who spent all of three days on that list — and defensive tackle Zach Sieler.
Which leads us to this important bit of perspective: neither Godchaux nor guard Ereck Flowers — the only two Dolphins whose time on the reserve list predate Thursday’s transactions — have been on the list for more than a few days.
Translation: The Dolphins likely did not have a ton of active COVID-19 cases before Thursday’s news.
Meanwhile, the NFL’s 4 p.m. deadline passed without any additional Miami Dolphins player filing paperwork to opt out, meaning Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson could be the only two Dolphins players who decided to take the season off.
One final bit of housekeeping: The Dolphins on Thursday waived cornerback Javaris Davis with a non-football injury designation. His time on the team lasted less than two weeks.