Vikings rookie WR Justin Jefferson, Bucs rookie RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn among players put on COVID-19 list

Frank Schwab
·3 min read

The NFL transaction wire has a new, recent designation: “Reserve/COVID-19.”

The league is putting players who test positive for the coronavirus or have been quarantined because of contact with someone who has tested positive on the reserve list, and the names are on the wire.

The Buccaneers tweeted that rookie running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who will compete for a starting job, was put on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

The Minnesota Vikings had a similar release that included four names, including first-round pick Justin Jefferson, a receiver out of LSU.

Vikings announce four to reserve/COVID-19 list

The Vikings, whose athletic trainer Eric Sugarman announced a positive test earlier Monday, said four players were on the new reserve/COVID-19 list. The team previously said no players had been in contact with Sugarman.

The Vikings’ announcement, from their public relations staff and on the team’s site, described the new list (the emphasis is from the team):

“This new reserve list category was created for a player who either tests positive for COVID-19 or who has been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person or persons. If a player falls into either of these categories, their club is required to immediately place the player on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Per agreed upon NFL-NFLPA policy, clubs are not permitted to comment on player's medical status other than referring to roster status. Clubs may not disclose whether player is in quarantine or is positive for COVID-19.”

Justin Jefferson answers questions at the podium with the NFL combine logo behind him.
The Vikings announced rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson was put on the team's reserve/COVID-19 list. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Teams can’t confirm why players are on list

It seems contradictory that a team can’t disclose whether a player is in quarantine or is positive for COVID-19, yet there’s a COVID-19 reserve list for players and the names are announced by teams.

That seems to be the process the NFL will use. We know that Jefferson and Vaughn, among others, are on the list. Jefferson, one of the best receivers in this year’s deep class, is expected to start for the Vikings this season. Tom Pelissero of NFL Media said 18 names were added to the reserve/COVID-19 list across the league on Monday, bringing the total to 24. More could be added as veterans report to camp and get tested.

Positive tests will be a story through the NFL season. As camps start, it’s already a focus.

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