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Coronavirus: NFL postpones three games due to COVID-19 surge

News Agencies | Updated on: 18 December 2021, 9:38 IST
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A surge in COVID-19 cases across the National Football League (NFL) and the United States as a whole has resulted in the postponement of multiple Week 15 games.

The league announced that Saturday's game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Cleveland Browns has been moved to Monday, while Sunday's meetings between the Washington Football Team and the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Seattle Seahawks and the Los Angeles Rams have been moved to Tuesday.

"We have made these schedule changes based on medical advice and after discussion with the NFLPA as we are seeing a new, highly transmissible form of the virus this week resulting in a substantial increase in cases across the league," the NFL announced in a statement.

"We continue to make decisions in consultation with medical experts to ensure the health and safety of the NFL community," it added.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to all 32 teams explaining Friday's changes to the schedule.

Cleveland has seen a significant amount of positive COVID-19 cases since it last took the field Sunday, with more than 20 players currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Backup quarterback Case Keenum joined starter Baker Mayfield on the list after testing positive Thursday. Nick Mullenswill start for the Browns if neither Mayfield or Keenum can return from the reserve/COVID-19 list in time for a game that will now take place Monday. Head coach Kevin Stefanski and running backs coach Ryan Cordell are also currently unavailable because of COVID-19.

The Los Angeles Rams are also dealing with a significant COVID-19 outbreak, placing nine players on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday to bring their total of players on the list to 21, with four more on the practice squad reserve/COVID-19 list. Linebacker Von Miller was the most notable addition Thursday. L.A. then added four more players to their COVID list Friday.

Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke ended up on the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday following a positive test. Backup Kyle Allen is already on the reserve/COVID-19 list, prompting Washington to sign Garrett Gilbert off the Patriots' practice squad. Washington also signed Jordan Ta'amu to the practice squad this week, where he joined Kyle Shurmur, the expected starter if Heinicke and Allen are unable to play Tuesday. The Football Team currently has more than 20 players in COVID-19 protocol.


First published: 18 December 2021, 9:38 IST