The Denver Broncos don’t have quarterbacks. The San Francisco 49ers have no home stadium or practice area. And the Baltimore Ravens may not have enough players for their next game, which has already been pushed back twice.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruptions in the NFL on Saturday, once again challenging the league’s plan to play a full schedule after several weeks that went relatively smoothly.
Several people familiar with the NFL investigation told The Associated Press that all four quarterbacks on the Denver list were not eligible to play the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
One person told the AP that starter Drew Lock, backup Brett Rypien, and training team veteran Blake Bortles were considered high-risk close ties with No. . 3 Quarterback Jeff Driskel on Wednesday, the day before Driskel tested positive for COVID-19.
Another person said the four quarterbacks did not appear to have been wearing their masks all the time, as the league’s pandemic protocols dictate.
People spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the NFL and Broncos made no announcements after Lock, Rypien and Bortles were ordered from the practice field to isolation on Saturday. The Broncos battled it out to prepare rookie receivers Kendall Hinton and No.. 3 Royce Freeman running back to play QB against the Saints.
The Ravens have meanwhile put six more players on the COVID-19 list. This applies to players who either tested positive for the virus or had close contact with an infected person. Baltimore had already disciplined an unidentified employee for violating COVID-19 protocols, and the outbreak – the worst this season on any team – left the Ravens with three defenders and one quarterback.
The Tennessee Titans had previously postponed their Week 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers due to a COVID-19 outbreak, giving both teams an unexpected goodbye week, and their subsequent game against Buffalo was postponed to Tuesday.
The Ravens game at rival Pittsburgh was originally scheduled for Thanksgiving and was postponed to Sunday before being postponed again to Tuesday. Some Steelers players complained that their schedule was again disrupted because another team couldn’t contain the outbreak. But the Steelers placed themselves on the COVID-19 list on Saturday, joining three other teammates.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has warned all 32 teams that forcing changes to the schedule could result in their drafts being revoked or even games forfeited. The league has avoided any losses so far and was on track to complete its regular season on time.
But the league has few options if the Baltimore-Pittsburgh game is delayed further. The league also moved the Thursday night matchup between Baltimore and Dallas to December. 7th.
The Broncos have also been affected by outbreaks from other teams. Her game last month in New England was postponed first a day and then a week, creating a ripple effect on her schedule and essentially costing her her bye week.
« I’m not the one to complain, but (on) NFL there is no way you can send us into a game without a QB, » tweeted Noah Fant. » The most important position on a crime. We don’t even have a backup. . . . »
Linebacker Von Miller jokingly volunteered and tweeted, “I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life. « From ELWAY ». »
For the 49ers, the latest complication stemmed from the local government trying to contain the spread of the virus in the county where they practice and play their home games. Santa Clara County banned all contact sports from having games and exercises for the next three weeks.
The ban was due to go into effect Monday after the 49ers returned from their game at the Los Angeles Rams. It should take until December. 21st.
The 49ers have home games planned for December. 7 against Buffalo and Dec. . 13 against Washington at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The team also practices at this location.
« We are working with the NFL and our partners on operational plans and will share details as soon as these are confirmed, » the team said in a statement.
The NFL declined to comment other than saying the league had contact with the 49ers. San Francisco could try playing at Oakland Coliseum – the old home of the Raiders – or possibly the Giants ballpark in San Francisco if those cities don’t put similar bans in place.
– The active Ravens players on the COVID-19 list were outside of linebacker Jaylon Ferguson, Right Attack D.. . J. . Fluker, defenseman Broderick Washington and offensive lineman Will Holden. Two others – defenders Khalil Dorsey and Tavon Young – were in an injured reserve before joining the list on Saturday. Others on the list for Baltimore include quarterback Lamar Jackson and running backs Mark Ingram and J.. . K. . Dobbins.
– The Saints put Terron Armstead on their COVID-19 list and banned him from playing Sunday’s Denver game.
– The Indianapolis Colts will do without Jonathan Taylor on Sunday. He is one of three Indy starters canceled due to COVID-19 when Indianapolis welcomes Tennessee to lead the AFC South.
– The Las Vegas Raiders said running backs coach Kirby Wilson won’t be training this week due to COVID-19 reasons. Head offensive assistant John Morton will take over Wilson’s duties against the Falcons on Sunday. The Raiders currently have three players on the COVID-19 list.
AP pro football writers Josh Dubow, Arnie Stapleton and Barry Wilner, and AP sports journalist Ben Nuckols contributed to this report.
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The San Francisco 49ers are banned from training or playing in their stadium for three weeks when new health restrictions apply that ban contact sports. Stanford University athletics, including the football program, will also be affected. Santa Clara County health officials announced the new restrictions on Saturday as the county reported a record of 760 COVID-19 cases.
Denver Broncos, NFL, Quarterback, New Orleans Saints, Jeff Driskel, Drew Lock, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens
World News – CA – No QBs in Denver, no home for SF as COVID-19 NFL chaos is sowing
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