New York (AFP)
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was placed on the NFL’s COVID-19 reserve list on Saturday, becoming the first caller on the starting signal for that group.
The 33-year-old quarterback totaled 41,025 yards and 256 touchdowns in 11 seasons for the Lions, who now have eight players on the COVID-19 reserve roster.
Teams cannot announce positive test results for players. Being on the list means a player has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been in close contact with someone infected with the virus.
The issue hits close to home for Stafford, who has a newborn baby girl and whose wife Kelly underwent brain tumor surgery in April 2019.
Stafford was not on the COVID-19 exclusion list, which would have meant he was skipping the season due to health concerns.
This means that Stafford can be activated once they have received medical clearance after going through health and safety protocols.
A back injury last season ended Stafford’s run of 136 straight starts.
Without him in the roster, the Lions lost their last eight games of the 2019 campaign and missed the playoffs for the third year in a row. The Lions haven’t won a playoff game since 1991.
The New England Patriots lost a seventh player to the COVID-19 exclusion list on Saturday in wide receiver Marqise Lee.
Among the Patriots skipping the 2020 season are defensive back Patrick Chung, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, running backs Dan Vitale and Brandon Bolden, and offensive linemen Marcus Cannon and Najee Toran.
The New York Jets lost linebacker CJ Mosley on the unsubscribe list, another blow to the defensive end after the team traded safety Jamal Adams to Seattle last weekend.
© 2020 AFP