Through two weeks of the 2020 NFL season, it had been “so far, so good” in terms of players on the active roster not missing time due to COVID-19. As we near the full slate of Sunday games on Week 3, that is officially no longer the case.
Rookie Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell has been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on the eve of the team’s home game against the Chicago Bears. This means that Terrell has either tested positive for COVID-19 or has been in close contact with someone who has/had the virus. If we’re to infer from Adam Schefter’s tweet, it sounds like Terrell’s COVID test on Friday is the cause for concern.
Falcons got the news about CB A.J. Terrell's test today; it was from a test he took Friday morning. Terrell practiced Friday. Now immediate contact tracing goes into effect, per league protocols, but the Falcons have not gotten any other positive test results. https://t.co/0mqy9dNLUG— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 26, 2020
Now it’s worth noting that the Seattle Seahawks played the Atlanta Falcons two weeks ago, and that the Dallas Cowboys faced Atlanta just last week and Terrell did play. According to Dallas Cowboys reporter Michael Gehlken, Terrell tested negative for the virus prior to and after last week’s game in Arlington.
Falcons CB AJ Terrell becomes the first NFL player to miss a game because of COVID-19. He played all 82 defensive snaps last Sunday vs. Cowboys. Tested negative before the game in Arlington and passed multiple daily tests after it. https://t.co/7H803fwdfD— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) September 26, 2020
Details are sparse and teams are not supposed to disclose whether a player has had a positive COVID test, but we hope that Terrell is okay. We’ll also monitor whether Terrell’s positive has any impact on the ability to play the Bears-Falcons game, as well as if this has any effect on Cowboys-Seahawks. In theory it shouldn’t if he’d apparently tested negative throughout the week, but you never know.
For what it’s worth, the Falcons’ Saturday COVID test results won’t be known until before kickoff on Sunday.