The New York Jets have placed rookie defensive backs Bryce Hall and Shyheim Carter on the COVID-19 Reserve List. In addition, Jets offensive lineman Leo Koloamatangi has opted out of the 2020 NFL season due to COVID-19 concerns.
The COVID-19 Reserve List is a new reserve list instituted this year in response to the pandemic. The list was created for players who either test positive for COVID-19 or have been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person or persons. If a player falls into either of these categories, their team is required to immediately place the player on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Per agreed upon NFL-NFLPA policy, teams are not permitted to comment on players’ medical status other than referring to roster status. Teams may not disclose whether any given player is in quarantine or is positive for COVID-19. The players in question are permitted to disclose such information at their discretion. Players may be activated off the list at such time as they are healthy and do not pose a risk to themselves or others.
Placement on the COVID-19 Reserve List makes what was already an uphill battle for rookies Hall and Carter that much more challenging. Hall is a fifth round draft choice coming off of a severe lower leg injury and Carter is an undrafted free agent. Without any offseason program other than Zoom sessions it was always going to be difficult for the rookies. With the elimination of the preseason schedule that made things a bit more difficult. Now with these two rookies on the COVID-19 Reserve List it becomes increasingly difficult to see a path to any significant contributions from these players. Of course, if they are in fact suffering from COVID-19, the path to 2020 snaps may not be the top priority for these young men at the moment.