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Falcons, Jaguars still set to play after virus positives

A Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad player has tested positive for Covid-19, the team said Saturday, but the club's NFL home game against Detroit scheduled Sunday remains on for now
A Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad player has tested positive for Covid-19, the team said Saturday, but the club's NFL home game against Detroit scheduled Sunday remains on for now AFP/File
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New York (AFP)

The Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars remain scheduled to play NFL games on Sunday despite announcing Saturday that a player for each club has been placed on the Covid-19 reserve list.

Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Cominsky, Baltimore defensive tackle Brandon Williams and an unidentified Jaguars practice squad player were put onto the list, which means either a positive test or close contact with someone who has tested positive.

The Falcons (0-5) remain scheduled to play Sunday at Minnesota (1-4) while the Ravens (4-1) visit Philadelphia (1-3 with one drawn) and the Jaguars (1-4) entertain Detroit (1-3).

More testing and contact tracing is being conducted under NFL safety protocols that could have an impact on Sunday's schedule.

Cominsky, 24, joined defensive tackle Marlon Davidson on the Falcons virus list while an assistant coach tested positive on Thursday, prompting the club to close its practice facility before reopening Friday.

Williams, who won't play Sunday, did not test positive but had close contact with someone who did, according to the NFL Network.

Under NFL safety protocols, any "high risk" close contact person must be isolated for at least five days.

Williams, whose entire eight-year NFL career has been spent with the Ravens, has made 11 tackles in five games this season.

The Jaguars worked remotely as a precaution after the practice squad positive on the eve of the contest with Detroit while more testing is conducted.

"Last night, we received results from our daily PCR testing that an individual on our practice squad tested positive for COVID-19," the Jaguars said in a statement.

"After confirming the positive test later in the evening, our organization began working with the NFL to review contact tracing data while the player self-isolated.

"As a precautionary measure for today, we made the decision to conduct our football activities remotely while following NFL protocols and recommendations... We plan to play tomorrow's game as scheduled."

The uncertainty follows the Falcons and New England Patriots closing their facilities for practice in the past week.

The Patriots reopened their facility on Saturday ahead of Denver's visit to New England on Sunday.

New England had reopened Thursday only to close Friday after another positive, with ESPN reporting the Patriots put center James Ferentz on the Covid-19 reserve list on the same day a positive test caused the shutdown.

The Broncos plan to bench top running back Melvin Gordon for the game at New England with what was described as a non-Covid-19 illness.

But Denver running backs coach Curtis Modkins will not travel to the game with the Patriots after testing positive for COVID-19, the Broncos announced.

"Early this morning, we learned that running backs coach Curtis Modkins tested positive for COVID-19," the team said in a statement.

"Curtis is currently at home in self-isolation and experiencing no symptoms."

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham tested negative for Covid-19 after missing workouts Thursday and Friday with flu-like symptoms. That means he will be able to play Sunday when the Browns face Pittsburgh.

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