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Is there any way Tyreek Hill can play in Week 16 vs. Steelers?

Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. We take a look at if he has a chance to play in Week 16 against the Steelers.

NFL High or Low | Can Kansas City cover without two of its top threats?

Saturday update: Hill has cleared COVID protocols and is good to go for Sunday’s game.

The Kansas City Chiefs are the latest team with COVID-19 struggles, as the team announced Tuesday that superstar wide receiver Tyreek Hill has been placed on the reserve/COVID list. The news comes just one day after tight end Travis Kelce was also placed on the list, putting both of their statuses up in the air for Week 16. Luckily for the Chiefs, they’ll be hosting the Steelers this weekend, so they won’t have to worry about travel plans which could put more time on the slate for their players to clear protocols.

Is it possible for Tyreek Hill to play in Week 16 vs. Steelers?

The fact that Hill was not immediately ruled out suggests he has a chance to play. We don’t know yet if Hill is vaccinated, which impacts his timeline for return, though it was noted ahead of the season that the Chiefs were at a 95% vaccination rate. If he is vaccinated, he does have a chance to play on Sunday. If vaccinated, he can return if he is asymptomatic for at least 24 hours by one of the following options:

  1. He receives two BRL PCR test results that are either negative or produce Cycle Threshold (CT) values of 35 or greater; OR
  2. He receives one BRL PCR test result that is either negative or produces CT values of 35 or greater and a negative Mesa test result from a test taken within 24 hours of the BRL PCR test. Both tests can be taken at the same time or less than 24 hours apart; OR
  3. He receives two negative MESA tests 24 hours after the initial swab was taken, but can be taken concurrently provided it’s two separate new swabs.

The previous policy required two negative tests at least 24 hours apart, but that has been cut down considerably with these new protocols.

If he has not received the COVID-19 vaccine and is confirmed to have tested positive, he would be required to quarantine for at least a 10-day period. If he was just a close contact, he would be required to quarantine for a five-day period. The latter is why he could still return this week even if unvaccinated.

We’ll know more as the week progresses.