The Baltimore Ravens may be without more than just All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey for this Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.
One day after Humphrey took to Twitter to confirm that he’ll be sidelined through at least the weekend because he tested positive for COVID-19, ESPN’s Jamison Hensley and others are reporting that Baltimore has six individuals deemed “high-risk” close contacts. Those contacts must isolate for a minimum of five days and return negative virus tests each day before they can return to football activities.
The timeline does allow for each of them to be eligible for Sunday’s contest if they are cleared.
The NFL and NFL Players Association have updated health and safety protocols for conducting the season amid the coronavirus pandemic throughout the campaign. Players and other personnel who experience symptoms typical of COVID-19 infections must isolate even if they test negative for the virus, and, moving forward, everyone associated with a team is required to wear a proper face covering inside of locker rooms at all times, including halftime.
A memo sent to players on Tuesday suggested that the Baltimore “high-risk” close contacts could have avoided isolation had they worn masks while interacting with Humphrey.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported on Monday that the NFL competition committee plans to submit a proposal for a 16-team playoff tournament in the event that regular-season games are canceled due to a coronavirus outbreak within a club and subsequent quarantines. While the league has had to postpone a handful of contests through Week 8, no game has yet been removed from the schedule.
The NFL prefers to avoid a “Week 18” scenario that would involve making up games in January ahead of the postseason.