The frequency with which teams have placed players on the COVID-19 reserve roster has increased in recent weeks to the point where most have become oblivious to the potential implications.
On Saturday, the Buccaneers abruptly placed two receivers on the COVID-19 reserve list. And all that that implies.
Jaydon Mickens and Cyril Grayson (currently on the training squad) have landed in the category of the list reserved for those who have tested positive or have had close contact with someone with the disease.
If either or both Mickens and Grayson have tested positive, the next step is contact tracing and potential placement of other people on the COVID-19 reserve list ahead of Sunday’s game at Carolina. The Buccaneers currently have no other players on the COVID-19 reserve roster, so Mickens and Grayson are not on the roster due to exposure to a teammate who has tested positive.
Although the NFL managed to get all games played in the first nine weeks of the 2020 season, national numbers have skyrocketed since November 1. More and more people are catching it, which means more players will catch it (in the absence of a bubble in the domestic market). Which means that the risk of the games being postponed to a potential 18th week is increasing and not decreasing.
However, Bucs-Panthers does not fall into this category. The game could be moved to week 13, when both teams will have their week off.