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Why Rams could get most, if not all players back from COVID-19 reserve list by Sunday

LA is one of several teams that appear to be in a dire situation, prompting rule changes by the NFL

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Rams Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Ahead of their meeting with the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, the Los Angeles Rams still have 16 players on the COVID-19 reserve list as of Thursday afternoon. Meanwhile, the Seahawks added star receiver Tyler Lockett to the COVID-19 reserve list on Thursday, the first notable Seattle player to be at risk of missing Week 15. The current rules say that a vaccinated player can return to the team if he has two negative tests in a 48-hour period, but the NFL is currently considering revising those rules by the weekend.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport shared some of the NFL’s new COVID-19 protocols on Thursday:

An asymptomatic player can now take up to two tests the day after testing positive and if either of those are negative, should be eligible to be activated on gameday. This should expedite the activation process for vaccinated and asymptomatic players towards returning to the field.

The Rams added Odell Beckham Jr and Justin Hollins to the COVID-19 reserve list this week, among others, but it is possible that all vaccinated players will be allowed to re-join the team in time for Sunday’s game as long as they test negative for COVID-19.

NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills spoke of the situation following outbreaks with the Rams, Browns, and Washington Football Team:

“I think all of you are aware that there’s been a substantial increase in our positive cases over the past several days,” Sills said. “And I think this reflects that we’re entering a new phase of the pandemic, something that’s different than what we’ve seen before where, really, the rules have changed. The dynamics of the pandemic have changed for us. And I think that’s going to cause us to challenge some of our previous assumptions and also update our strategies and our solutions.”

To dive deeper into the situation post-Lockett news, I recorded a new episode of the Turf Show Times INSTANT REACTION podcast, and also previewed the matchup between Seattle and Los Angeles; two teams that have been surprisingly similar recently.