Gameday Injury Expectations: Week 4

What to expect from this week's injured players

UNDERSTANDING THE NFL'S INJURY REPORT

The injury report released by the NFL is two reports. The first is the Practice Participation report, which lists which injured players were able to practice and how much. It also includes players who rested or missed practice for non-injury related reasons. The second is the Game Status Report, which gives the probability a player will play, i.e. Questionable, Doubtful, Out. The Practice Participation Report is released every day of the week (Monday through Saturday). The Game Status Report is released with the Friday participation report (Wednesday for Thursday games, Saturday for Monday games).

In this feature, I'll include the Game Status Listing, my expectation of their likelihood to play, and the player's practice participation throughout the week.

Key:

PLAYER | INJURY | GAME STATUS LISTING | FOOTBALLGUYS EXPECTATION

Practice Participation Listing by Day

* = playing on Monday night

I'll also include a table at the bottom of the article for easy reference.

Here's the latest on every relevant injured player on the practice participation and game status report this week:

Fast Track High Impact News and Notes

Scroll down for full details, extensive updates, and the complete table of projected availability.

General notes on COVID and the NFL

Late last week, Atlanta cornerback A.J. Terrell tested positive for COVID. Follow up reports stated the NFL did not identify any close contacts. Additional testing of Atlanta players and staff were negative through Sunday morning and the NFL allowed the Falcons to play. Thankfully, no further positive tests in Atlanta have been reported.

On Monday, the NFL reported a position coach in Tennessee tested positive for COVID. The team was cleared to travel to Minnesota and play. Over the following six days, a total of 16 players and staff tested positive. This week's Tennessee-Pittsburgh game was canceled. Next week's Tennessee-Buffalo game may not be played depending on how the Titans' outbreak evolves through the weekend and early next week.

Saturday morning, news broke that Cam Newton tested positive late Friday night. No other Patriots' players tested positive on Saturday morning. The Chiefs reported a positive test for Jordan Ta'amu shortly afterward. Currently, reports indicate the league is targeting Tuesday night for the New England - Kansas City game.

The league's decision on the New England - Kansas City game reflects a notable shift in its clearance of asymptomatic players and staff to participate.

Both Atlanta and Tennessee were cleared to play last week after confirmed positive tests within 48 hours of game time. While we aren't privy to the details of the contact-tracing programs, the strikingly different outcomes for those teams this week underscore the frustrating nature of SARS-CoV-2: Persons may be exposed, infected, and contagious before testing positive. Close contacts may test positive multiple days after exposure.

It's possible the Patriots and Chiefs have a single isolated infection and further testing is negative. But the Tennessee developments this week show that's not guaranteed and precautions must be taken to limit the risk of future exposure and infection. Targeting Tuesday suggests the NFL has adjusted its policy to require 72 hours of negative testing after last possible exposure -- possibly a minimum of three consecutive negative PCR tests 24 hours apart.

Don't expect New England to travel to Kansas City until Tuesday morning's test results are known. And no final decision on the game will be made until Tuesday. Unfortunately, the Tennessee outbreak highlighted the possibility of a positive test days after exposure. The NFL would be prudent to show extra caution this week.

Sunday Update: Another round of tests in New England were negative Saturday night. There are now multiple reports that further negative testing on Sunday could prompt the NFL to allow the Patriots to travel to Kansas City and play Monday night.

While I continue to fervently hope we see no additional cases reported and all currently affected recover quickly and fully, the additional positive tests in Tennessee this morning -- six days after the last possible exposure within the team facility -- raise questions about how many days of negative tests may be necessary to clear close contacts.

Additional reports overnight note that Falcons' contact tracing showed few, if any, close contacts after last week's positive test while the Titans may have broken protocol in multiple ways. If that proves accurate, we'll hopefully find that Tennessee is the outlier and both New England and Kansas City will not have outbreaks through the weekend.


Game-time Decision

Trending Doubtful (Likely Inactive)

Trending Probable (Expected to Play)

Ruled Out

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