NFL COVID-19 tracker: Updated team-by-team list of players in protocol for Week 17

For the past three weeks, NFL teams have been hit hard with COVID-19 cases because of the rise of the Omicron variant throughout the world.

More than 100 players have already landed on the COVID/reserve list ahead of Week 17 games, and there were 96 positive tests alone on Monday, a new high for a single day.

At the start of Week 16, more than 200 players were on the COVID/reserve list. At the beginning of Week 17, various players are being activated, but dozens more are being put into the league’s protocols. One of the bigger names to go on the list in Week 17 is Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans. The Bucs were already dealing with a significant loss to their offensive unit, as running back Leonard Fournette is on the list, too.

Sporting News has the list of all of the players who have entered COVID-19 protocols ahead of Week 17 games.

NFL POWER RANKINGS: Cowboys, Bills rise; Patriots, Steelers fall

NFL players in league COVID protocols

(Based on official team rosters as of Dec. 27)

Arizona Cardinals (one player)

Atlanta Falcons (eight players)

  • OLB Emmanuel Ellerbee
  • LB Quinton Bell
  • DB Cornell Armstrong
  • DT Marlon Davidson
  • LB Brandon Copeland
  • WR Tajae Sharpe
  • LB James Vaughters
  • LB Dorian Etheridge

Baltimore Ravens (12 players)

  • C Trystan Colon
  • S Chuck Clark
  • WR Sammy Watkins
  • CB Chris Westry
  • LB Justin Houston
  • WR Jaylon Moore
  • RB Nate McCrary
  • WR Binjimen Victor
  • TE Josh Oliver
  • OLB Justin Houston 
  • DL Justin Madubuike
  • S Tony Jefferson

Buffalo Bills (eight players)

  • LB Tyrel Dodson
  • T Dion Dawkins
  • OL Jon Feliciano
  • DE A.J. Epenesa
  • WR Cole Beasley
  • OL Cody Ford
  • WR Gabriel Davis
  • CB Cam Lewis

Carolina Panthers (seven players)

  • RB Christian McCaffrey
  • DT Derrick Brown
  • G Dennis Daley
  • G Pat Elflein
  • DT Daviyon Nixon
  • C Matt Paradis
  • DE Brian Burns

Chicago Bears (four players)

  • WR Isaiah Coulter
  • LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe
  • TE Jesper Horsted
  • DT Akiem Hicks

Cincinnati Bengals (four players)

  • LB Clay Johnston
  • DB Chidobe Awuzie
  • QB Brandon Allen
  • CB Darius Phillips

Cleveland Browns (12 players)

  • S Grant Delpit
  • LB Tony Fields II
  • P Jamie Gillan
  • TE Austin Hooper
  • LB Jacob Phillips
  • RT James Hudson
  • WR JoJo Natson
  • TE Ross Travis
  • C J.C. Tretter
  • DT Jordan Elliott
  • K Chase McLaughlin
  • LB Elijah Lee

Dallas Cowboys (three players)

  • DT Trysten Hill
  • DT Osa Odighizuwa
  • DB Malik Hooker

Denver Broncos (four players)

  • RB Mike Boone
  • DB P.J. Locke
  • WR Seth Williams
  • C Lloyd Cushenberry

Detroit Lions (13 players)

  • DB Jalen Elliott
  • DB Nickell Robey-Coleman
  • LB Alex Anzalone
  • WR Quintez Cephus
  • T Matt Nelson
  • DB Corey Ballentine
  • LB Tavante Beckett
  • DB Ifeatu Melifonwu
  • DB Tracy Walker
  • DB Bobby Price
  • WR Trinity Benson
  • WR Josh Reynolds
  • QB Steven Montez

Green Bay Packers (six players)

  • NT Kenny Clark
  • G Ben Braden
  • LB Tipa Galeai
  • WR Amari Rodgers
  • LB Ty Summers
  • DL R.J. McIntosh

Houston Texans (22 players)

  • LB Kamu Grugier-Hill
  • DB A.J. Moore
  • DE DeMarcus Walker
  • OL Lane Taylor
  • DE Jonathan Greenard
  • DT Malick Collins
  • DE Derek Rivers
  • DB Cre’Von LeBlanc
  • C Justin Britt
  • T Tytus Howard
  • DE Jordan Jenkins
  • DB Lonnie Johnson
  • DT Roy Lopez
  • DB Eric Murray
  • RB David Johnson
  • K Ka’imi Fairbairn
  • WR Brandin Cooks
  • LB Eric Wilson
  • DL Jaleel Johnson
  • LB Neville Hewitt
  • RB David Johnson
  • FB Paul Quessenberry

Indianapolis Colts (12 players)

  • LB Zaire Franklin
  • G Mark Glowinski
  • LB Darius Leonard
  • G Quenton Nelson
  • WR Zach Pascal
  • S Khari Willis
  • S Jahleel Addae
  • CB T.J. Carrie
  • LB Malik Jefferson
  • RB Marlon Mack
  • T Braden Smith
  • CB Chris Wilcox

Jacksonville Jaguars (15 players)

  • DE Josh Allen
  • OL Ben Bartch
  • WR Laviska Shenault
  • TE Dan Arnold
  • DT Malcom Brown
  • DE/OLB K’Lavon Chaisson
  • OL Brandon Linder
  • TE Luke Farrell
  • DT DaVon Hamilton
  • TE Chris Manhertz
  • DE/OLB Lerentee McCray
  • OL Andrew Norwell
  • DL Jihad Ward
  • RB James Robinson
  • OL Jared Hocker

Kansas City Chiefs (nine players)

  • TE Travis Kelce
  • K Harrison Butker
  • TE Joe Fortson
  • CB Rashad Fenton
  • P Tommy Townsend
  • LB Nick Bolton
  • OT Lucas Niang
  • OLB Kyle Long
  • S Armani Watts

Las Vegas Raiders (four players)

  • DB Nate Hobbs
  • DB Trayvon Mullen
  • G Jermaine Eluemunor
  • Roderic Teamer

Los Angeles Chargers (12 players)

  • LT Rashawn Slater
  • G/C Scott Quessenberry
  • LB Joey Bosa
  • DB Tevaughn Campbell
  • DB Kemon Hall
  • C Corey Linsley
  • DB Trey Marshall
  • WR Andre Roberts
  • LB Chris Rumph
  • DB Chris Harris Jr. 
  • CB Michael Davis
  • S Nasir Adderley

Los Angeles Rams (three players)

  • OT Joseph Noteboom
  • LB Justin Lawler
  • LT Andrew Whitworth

Miami Dolphins (eight players)

  • DB Justin Coleman
  • TE Cethan Carter
  • C Greg Mancz
  • LB Duke Riley
  • G Solomon Kindley
  • WR Albert Wilson
  • RB Lynn Bowden
  • OG Robert Jones

Minnesota Vikings (four players)

  • RB Dalvin Cook
  • G Olisaemeka Udoh
  • QB Sean Mannion
  • OL Rashod Hill

New England Patriots (six players)

  • OT Yasir Durant
  • LB Harvey Langi
  • LB Cameron McGrone
  • DE Ronnie Perkins
  • RB Rhamondre Stevenson
  • DL Deatrich Wise

New Orleans Saints (21 players)

  • G James Carpenter
  • LB Kaden Elliss
  • DB Jeff Heath
  • QB Taysom Hill
  • DB Malcom Jenkins
  • T Jordan Mills
  • DT Christian Ringo 
  • QB Trevor Siemian
  • LB Demario Davis
  • OT Ryan Ramczyk
  • TE Adam Trautman
  • TE Juwan Johnson
  • S J.T. Gray
  • RB Dwayne Washington
  • DE Carl Granderson
  • DE Jalyn Holmes
  • WR Deonte Harris
  • DT Malcolm Roach
  • OT Jerald Hawkins
  • CB KeiVarae Russell
  • LB Kwon Alexander

New York Giants (14 players)

  • WR Kadarius Toney
  • WR John Ross
  • LB Oshane Ximines
  • DB Adoree’ Jackson
  • DB J.R. Reed
  • DB Natrell Jamerson
  • DB Keion Crossen
  • QB Daniel Jones
  • WR Sterling Shepard
  • DB Xavier McKinney
  • DB Julian Love
  • DB Ka’dar Hollman
  • OT Nate Solder
  • DT Danny Shelton

New York Jets (19 players)

  • WR Elijah Moore
  • LB Hamsah Nasirildeen
  • DE John Franklin-Myers
  • DB Sharrod Neasman
  • G Alijah Vera-Tucker
  • CB Michael Carter II
  • G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
  • QB Joe Flacco
  • DL Quinnen Williams
  • DL Jabari Zuniga
  • DL Ryan Griffin
  • DB Ashtyn Davis
  • DL Jonathan Marshall
  • TE Kenny Yeboah
  • DL Foley Fatukasi
  • LB Noah Dawkins
  • DB Lamar Jackson
  • DL Tanzel Smart
  • WR Vyncint Smith

Philadelphia Eagles (seven players)

  • G Landon Dickerson
  • T Andre Dillard
  • DE Ryan Kerrigan
  • DE Derek Barnett
  • CB Andre Chachere
  • DE Tarron Jackson
  • TE Noah Togiai

Pittsburgh Steelers (five players)

  • DE Montravius Adams
  • DB Linden Stephens
  • RB Anthony McFarland
  • WR Anthony Miller
  • S Karl Joseph

Seattle Seahawks (six players)

  • CB D.J. Reed
  • RT Brandon Shell
  • NT Bryan Mone
  • DE L.J. Collier
  • CB Bless Austin
  • TE Will Dissly

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (five players)

  • WR Jaelon Darden
  • LB Lavonte David
  • RB Leonard Fournette
  • DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches
  • WR Mike Evans

Tennessee Titans (eight players)

  • WR Dez Fitzpatrick
  • S Jamal Carter
  • DB Chris Jackson
  • T Kendall Lamm
  • WR Julio Jones
  • WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine
  • LB Bud Dupree
  • DB Buster Skrine

Washington Football Team (10 players)

  • QB Kyle Allen
  • DT Matt Ioannidis
  • S Darrick Forrest
  • OT Cornelius Lucas
  • DE William Bradley-King
  • DB Kendall Fuller
  • RB Wendell Smallwood
  • DB Kamren Curl
  • LB Khaleke Hudson
  • K Joey Slye

MORE: New NFL COVID protocols, explained

NFL COVID vaccine rules

Here is the COVID protocol for vaccinated players, according to the NFL:

  • Vaccinated individuals who test positive and are asymptomatic will be isolated and contact tracing will promptly occur.
  • The positive individual will be permitted to return to duty after two negative tests at least 24 hours apart.
  • After that, they will be tested every week or as directed by the medical staff.
  • Vaccinated individuals will not be subject to quarantine as a result of close contact with an infected person.

The main difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated players is that vaccinated players don’t have to worry about being a “high-risk” close contact at any point. They also have more freedom to participate in activities than their unvaccinated counterparts. Vaccinated players can go out on the road and more easily spend time with teammates outside the facility, among other perks.

What is NFL’s COVID protocol for unvaccinated players?

The NFL’s COVID protocols are stricter than those for vaccinated players. They are as follows, per the NFL:

  • If an unvaccinated person tests positive, the protocols from 2020 will remain in effect. The person will be isolated for a period of 10 days and will then be permitted to return to duty if asymptomatic.
  • Unvaccinated individuals will continue to be subject to a five-day quarantine period if they have close contact with an infected individual.

Unvaccinated players also have more procedures they must follow to avoid falling into COVID protocol. They include the following:

  • Unvaccinated individuals must be tested for COVID every day at the team facility. If a player misses even one day of testing, they will be required to test negative for COVID for five straight days before re-entering the facility. That’s what happened to Cam Newton before the final week of the Patriots’ preseason.
  • Unvaccinated free agents must also test negative for five consecutive days before being allowed to enter a team facility.
  • Unvaccinated players must wear masks at all times in the facility. They cannot gather in groups larger than three players and on the road “are prohibited from congregating, visiting or mingling with individuals outside of the traveling party once they have arrived in the game city.”
  • Unvaccinated individuals are subject to fines if they break COVID protocols. This can include anything from failing to wear a mask in the facility or going to an indoor concert or house party with more than 15 people.

When is a player considered fully vaccinated?

The NFL considers a player fully vaccinated if they fall into one of the two following categories: They either are 14 days removed from their final dose of Pfizer, Moderna or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or they previously contracted COVID and are 14 days removed from a single dose of any vaccine.

MORE: NFL players sound off on postponements amid COVID outbreak

Will the NFL postpone games because of COVID?

The NFL has left the door open for potential postponements. That said, the league has said that “postponements will only occur if required by government authorities, medical experts, or at the commissioner’s discretion.”

Of course, the NFL has also said that it’s hoping to play its full, 272-game schedule “in a safe and responsible way,” so it seems likely that the league will consider postponements where appropriate.

However, the NFL has noted that the burden of postponements or cancellations will fall upon teams featuring COVID spikes among unvaccinated players. If outbreaks occur among vaccinated players, the league will seek to “minimize the burden” of that club.

If a game is canceled/postponed because a club cannot play due to a COVID spike among or resulting from its non-vaccinated players/staff, then the burden of the cancellation or delay will fall on the club experiencing the COVID infection. We will seek to minimize the burden on the opposing club or clubs. If a club cannot play due to a COVID spike in vaccinated individuals, we will attempt to minimize the competitive and economic burden on both participating teams.

What does that mean? If a team has an outbreak that impacts unvaccinated players, they’re less likely to get a favorable ruling from the NFL. So, they may be forced to play significantly shorthanded or at a less convenient time.

The NFL also has stated that if a game cannot be rescheduled within its 18-week season due to a COVID outbreak amid non-vaccinated players, the team with the outbreak will be forced to forfeit.

Additionally, the league said that “games will not be postponed or rescheduled simply to avoid roster issues caused by injury or illness affecting multiple players, even within a position group.” The Broncos were the best example of that principle in action. They had to play with practice squad receiver Kendall Hinton as their quarterback after their QB room was exposed to the virus.

Will the NFL add an extra week because of COVID postponements?

No, it’s not planning to add an extra week to the schedule. The NFL confirmed that they are hoping not to extend the regular season past 18 weeks (17 games and one bye).

“We do not anticipate adding a ’19th week’ to accommodate games that cannot be rescheduled within the current 18 weeks of the regular season.”

Perhaps the NFL will change its tune if COVID becomes a bigger issue than the league anticipates, but for now, don’t expect the league to add another week to the season.

Jake Aferiat contributed to this article.