KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Seven more Kansas City Chiefs players are on the reserve/COVID list Tuesday, reports say.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report three new players going on the list. A few hours later, four other players were also added to the COVID list.
- Wide receiver Tyreek Hill
- Tight end Blake Bell
- Cornerback Rashad Fenton
- Linebacker Nick Bolton
- Guard Kyle Long
- Tackle Lucas Niang
- Cornerback Armani Watts
NFL Network reports 21 players across the league went on the COVID list Tuesday — one third of them were from the Kansas City Chiefs.
The news comes just one day after tight end Travis Kelce, kicker Harrison Butker and cornerback Charvarius Ward were also added to the list on Monday.
Last week, three other Chiefs players — wide receiver Josh Gordon, defensive lineman Chris Jones and linebacker Willie Gay — were also placed on the reserve/COVID list. Coach Andy Reid said he hopes these three players will return this week.
But until they’re cleared, the Chiefs now have 13 players on their COVID list.
After a season of relatively few issues regarding COVID, the virus seems to be hitting the Chiefs hard recently. But they aren’t the only NFL team struggling. Last week, the NFL rescheduled three games because of COVID-19 outbreaks among teams.
There hasn’t been any word yet on if the Chiefs game against the Pittsburg Steelers will be affected Sunday.
Now one of the big questions Chiefs fans have: “Will the players who have tested positive for COVID-19 actually not play on Sunday?”
The NFL recently changed its COVID-19 protocols, including return-to-play procedures, so there is some hope for these Chiefs to be back on the field Sunday when the Chiefs take on the Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium.
However, a lot of that depends on a player’s vaccination status and whether they’re experiencing symptoms.
Under the NFL’s new COVID protocols, the league has been doing “stringent symptom screening” for all players and staff, but only those who are fully vaccinated are only subject to “targeted spot testing,” instead of weekly testing.
Any player or coach who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to quarantine until they are cleared to return, regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms or their vaccination status.
But the updated protocols allow asymptomatic vaccinated players to return sooner if they have two negative tests on the same day, or one negative test and an antibody test shows the individual has reached a certain level.
Chiefs fans at Kansas Sampler Rally House in Lenexa have hope for the team’s chances — even if the team is down players while taking on the Steelers.
“I think that we have a lot of depth though. So even with our big-big name players out, I feel that there are people that will feel their shoes,” Chiefs fan Amanda Cain said.
Another fan, Carol Kostelac, is trying to put Kelce’s situation into perspective.
“He looks like a health ad to me. So they’ve had several come off that list before though that were listed as maybes,” Kostelac said.
Kostelac said she’s praying for players’ recoveries and for that to be reflected in testing. She also said she might go to Midnight Mass plus mass Christmas morning for the added prayer boost — a habit from her youth.
“I was going for a few years. I’m 86,” Kostelac said.
“I called my grandson and told him I’d be happy to be the defensive coordinator,” she said with a laugh. “He said, ‘Oh grandma, don’t tell that to anybody.'”