KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The NFL’s new COVID-19 protocols took effect Monday as the league works to limit the number of players and coaches exposed to the new omicron variant.
Under the new protocols, a certain number of players on each team are randomly chosen to be tested.
Any player or coach who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to quarantine until they are cleared to return, regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms or an individual’s vaccination status. The NFL updated requirements after dozens of players and staff tested positive in the past 10 days.
“I got used to it last year with all the sudden changes. I’m sure there are going to be some more,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said Monday. “I look around at the different teams and they’re doing that.
Reid’s comments came just hours before three Chiefs players — tight end Travis Kelce, kicker Harrison Butker and cornerback Charvarius Ward — were placed on the reserve/COVID list Monday afternoon.
Just last week, three other Chiefs players — wide receiver Josh Gordon, defensive lineman Chris Jones and linebacker Willie Gay — were also placed on the reserve/COVID list last week. Reid hopes these three are all back this week.
The Chiefs aren’t the only ones dealing with COVID challenges. Teams continue to face positive cases, including players and coaches who have been fully vaccinated.
The Pittsburg Steelers are also making moves ahead of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Chiefs at Arrowhead.
It’s something the Chiefs and Reid are keeping a close eye on, but said issues will likely persist.
“We’ve had a couple things last week where we had to make a couple sudden changes. I’m not going to spend a ton of time on it,” Reid said. “That’s what Rick [Burkholder] does, so Rick explains it to the coaches and to the players, and then we roll with it.”
The Chiefs’ are now at the top of the AFC with a 10-4 record. They are scheduled to play the Steelers at Arrowhead Dec. 26. Kickoff is at 3:25 p.m.