The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have clinched the NFC South title and are in the thick of the competition for the No. 1 seed and homefield advantage in the NFC. However, things have taken a turn heading into Week 17. The team announced that head coach Bruce Arians has tested positive for COVID-19. He is vaccinated and will quarantine.
The team has been able to avoid too many COVID-19 issues, but their reserve/COVID-19 list is growing heading into Week 17. The league’s revised protocols will allow for all three Week 17 additions to come off in time for Sunday’s game against the Jets. We’ll update this list as names come off and new names go on.
Buccaneers COVID-19 list
HC Bruce Arians
WR Jaelon Darden (Placed Thu, Dec 23)
WR Mike Evans (Placed Mon, Dec 27)
CB Jamel Dean (Placed Tue, Dec 28)
CB Sean Murphy-Buntong (Placed Tue, Dec 28)
NFL COVID-19 protocols
The NFL changed its policy on Tuesday, December 28 following the CDC’s adjustment. If unvaccinated, a player must miss a minimum of five days if a close contact or a positive test. If they have not shown symptoms for at least 24 hours at the end of that five days, they are eligible to be activated.
A vaccinated player does not need to quarantine if a close contact, but does if they test positive. A vaccinated player can test out sooner than the five days if he is asymptomatic for at least 24 hours by one of the following options:
- He receivers two BRL PCR test results that are either negative or produce Cycle Threshold (CT) values of 35 or greater; OR
- He receive 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
- 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.