Panthers send players home after 6 more positive COVID tests

·3 min read

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers have sent all of their players home from Bank of America Stadium after six more players tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.

That brings the total number of Carolina players on the COVID-19 reserve list to 13.

Defensive end Brian Burns, linebacker Shaq Thompson, defensive end Marquis Haynes, defensive tackle Phil Hoskins, center Matt Paradis and defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon all tested positive on Monday. Paradis and Nixon were already on injured reserve.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule said the decision to send players home was made “to stem the tide” and get things under control. The team will conduct its meetings virtually until then, and Rhule is hoping to have players back in the building for practice on Wednesday.

The Panthers lost 32-6 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday and have been eliminated from playoff contention. They visit the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

Also:

—The Cleveland Browns, who have been hit as hard as any team by COVID-19 cases the past few weeks, activated eight players, including defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and versatile running back Kareem Hunt.

Clowney has missed the past two games -- both losses -- and his return will help a pass rush that hasn’t been the same without him. Starting left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. is also back. He’s been replaced the last two games by left guard Joel Bitoni, who can slide back to his usual spot.

— Tampa Bay, hard hit by injuries on offense, put star wideout Mike Evans on the COVID-19 list, but activated wide receiver Breshad Perriman from it. Evans missed Sunday’s game with an injury.

—The Green Bay Packers placed G Ben Braden, LB Tipa Galeai, WR Amari Rodgers and LB Ty Summers on the list, and placed defensive lineman RJ McIntosh on the practice squad COVID-19 list.

— The Cincinnati Bengals placed backup quarterback Brandon Allen and already-injured cornerback/kick returner Darius Phillips on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday. Phillips (shoulder), who was the Bengals’ primary kick returner, has been on injured reserve since Dec. 9.

Allen has been the No. 2 quarterback behind starter Joe Burrow. The team will likely have to add a quarterback to the roster.

Starting defensive tackle D.J. Reader missed last Sunday’s game after going on the COVID-19 list on Dec. 20, the same day that starting cornerback Chidobe Awuzie came off it.

Cincinnati hosts Kansas City on Sunday.

— The Indianapolis Colts placed safety Jahleel Addae, cornerback T.J. Carrie, linebacker Malik Jefferson, running back Marlon Mack and tackle Braden Smith on the list. Smith has been a key member of the offensive line that has helped Jonathan Taylor lead the league in rushing. Cornerback Chris Wilcox went on the practice squad COVID-19 list.

—Seattle added defensive end L.J. Collier to the list. Collier played 25 snaps in Sunday’s loss to the Bears. Seattle has six players from the 53-man roster on the virus list.

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Steve Reed, The Associated Press

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